10 Jul 2017

Construction staff shortage could last several more years

2:50 pm on 10 July 2017

A large construction training provider expects the skills shortage plaguing the industry to continue into the 2020s.

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Photo: 123rf.com

The Building and Construction Industry Training Organisation said a record number of people were in apprenticeships, but tens of thousands more are needed over the coming years.

It said it has around 11,000 people working to get building sector qualifications, but it's still not enough.

Chief executive Warwick Quinn said the country had a skills shortage and the industry desperately needed more people - and fast.

"We expect this current pressure to continue into the 2020s... forecasts for the next few years provide confidence for people considering a career in the construction industry and for business owners thinking about expanding their business and taking on more staff," he said.

Mr Quinn expected 65,000 new workers were needed over the next five years to meet demand and replace those who retire or leave.

A lack of skilled staff has been cited as a significant problem for the construction sector, leading to a slowdown in projects.

Last week, the Institute of Economic Research's quarterly survey of business opinion showed a sharp fall in confidence in the building industry but said activity was picking up and capacity pressures were easing.

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