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Workers needed to plug hvac skills gap

ConstructionSkills predicts the hvac industry will have to provide almost 15,000 more workers by 2012 to meet steadily climbing demand in the run up to the Olympics. The results were published in the annual Construction Skills Network survey.

The figures estimate the UK needs 173,890 people working in hvac trades to meet current demand, and will need 188,740 by 2012. This represents a predicted rise of 9 per cent over the four year period.

In addition, the report estimated the number of hvac workers needed in 2006 was 158,470, which means the sector will need to swell by more than 30,000 members in the six years to 2012.

Sir Michael Latham, chairman of the Construction Skills Network, said: “We’ve identified the scale of skills needs by project and region over the coming years. Now it is essential that we work with employers and training providers to put in place the right practical, on-site training that will help local people get the skills they need to fill local job vacancies.
“The Olympic build programme is a beacon for best practice. This is a wonderful example of how industry can work with educationalists and Government to provide best practice training to benefit the industry and local communities far beyond 2012.”

Construction Skills predicts that construction growth will peak in 2011, with an industry-wide rush to complete new build and infrastructure programmes before the Olympic Games open in 2012.

The report reveals that although the Olympic build projects account for less than 0.5 per cent of UK construction work between now and 2012, the high profile nature of the Games is driving a concentration of activity.

A number of unrelated projects such as the Victoria line and Docklands Light Railway extensions are being timed for completion in advance of 2012 to help manage the expected influx of visitors to London.
The organisation also warned this trend would mean little or no growth for the construction industry in 2012.