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Construction output figures ‘expose effect of skills shortage’

Office for National Statistics (ONS) figures have shown a 2.2% drop in construction output, exposing the growing effect of the construction skills shortage, according to the Federation of Master Builders (FMB).

Chief executive Brian Berry said the inadequate number of skilled workers remained one of the greatest barriers to construction firms of all sizes being able to grow and prosper.

He said the contraction in construction output could, in part, stem from the increased cost pressures that businesses face as a result of labour scarcity.

Mr Berry added: “However, the ONS figures should be approached with an element of caution. This is the first fall in output for more than two years and business sentiment remains positive.

“We look forward to hearing the Chancellor’s plans for the industry in November’s Spending Review. Comprehensive measures on apprenticeships, housing and planning need to move forward for construction to continue to drive growth across the wider economy as it has in recent years.”

Yesterday (27 October), H&V News released the results of a study into the energy-efficiency market that found investment in training, public awareness and innovation of business models to be vital for the sector’s longevity and growth.

Construction Industry Training Board head of policy Gillian Econopouly said she looked forward to working with industry, government and the education sector to develop skills.

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