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Lack of young people joining industry, study finds

Policy Exchange has published its Higher, Further, Faster, More report, revealing that 20% more people will be required to work on construction projects in London and the South East by 2017.

It called for the government to transfer £500m of funding from universities to further education colleges to assist with training more people.

Funded by the Constriction Industry Training Board, the report found that universities currently have £12.3bn of unrestricted reserves but that colleges are finding it difficult to make ends meet.

Commenting on the situation, Barking & Dagenham College stated that it had seen a considerable increase in applications from construction personnel wishing to add to their qualifications, but that more young people are required as trainees.

Curriculum director for construction and engineering Mike Paxton said: “The college has seen a 100% increase in applications from adults for our higher-level construction management courses. Many of these students already work in the sector, understand the opportunities and are up-skilling accordingly.

“But many parents and young people don’t realise that you can study for a hi-tech construction management BTEC course right after GCSEs.

“Careers such as quantity surveying, design engineering and BIM need a pipeline of talented, skilled and highly trained individuals.”

Mr Paxton added that 8,500 skilled workers are needed for the Nine Elms site in London alone, along with many other developments.