Construction firms cut back on training

Construction Apprentices
Construction Training

Nearly a fifth of construction companies in the UK plan to scale back training this year, new research has shown.

More than a quarter of businesses in the sector also cut their training last year in response to the worst economic downturn since the 1930s, a survey of 1,500 employers by CITB-ConstructionSkills found, published yesterday.

The study will deal a fresh blow to the Government’s push for employers to offer more apprenticeship schemes in the UK. The Department for Business has said it is looking to private sector employers to offer more vocational training to create jobs and tackle the nation’s skills shortages.

However, the survey found many businesses still see training as a low priority. Training relating to the job itself was shown to be the hardest hit, with 16pc of all employers cutting back. Management and supervisory training suffered, while courses on health and safety reduced, the survey said.

Mark Farrar, chief executive of CITB-ConstructionSkills, said: “As a cost cutting measure in times of economic hardship, training budgets are sadly often the first to suffer. Although recognition of the importance of staff skills is high, the research shows that training levels could fall further still.”

About 39pc of companies in the West Midlands reduced the training on offer to staff, with the North West (37pc) and Scotland (35pc) following closely behind, the survey showed.

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