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Coalition to push for construction skills investment

Some of the leading construction industry organisations have today made a call for major investment to be spent on enhancing training and skill development for people working in the construction industry.

Leaders from the Construction Skills Network and from the industry training board, CITB-ConstructionSkills, have said that the industry – and Greater London in particular – has shown limited growth in output this year, reflecting the UK’s fall back into recession and the continued uncertainty in the eurozone. They have claimed that significant investment would help with the economic recovery of the construction sector and the British economy as a whole.

CITB-ConstructionSkills’s Greater London sector strategy manager, Roger Stone, said that recent figures show that decisive action needs to be taken to spur the industry on and push forward development.

“While Greater London seems likely to outperform most of the rest of the UK over the next five years, the figures show that growth over the next five years could be sluggish at best,” he said. “We need to meet the challenges for the good of the economy, our industry and the people who work in it. By working in partnership and presenting a united front, we stand the best chance of returning construction to a position of strength.”

In response to the potentially gloomy outlook, a coalition of the construction sectors top leaders have assembled to launch a campaign, known as Construction4Growth, to aggressively lobby the government to put construction at the heart of Britain’s economic recovery.

One of the members of the coalition, Armar Johnston, from Skills for Growth, said that the campaign has the potential to benefit every sector of industry – from SMEs all the way up to major corporations – and should be supported.

“We really need to make sure we're supporting the construction industry to make the most of the industry's planned projects to the benefit of local people, businesses and the wider economy,” he said. “We can't avoid the downturn but working together we can try to minimise its impact on our industry and our employees and develop the skilled workforce we will need when the upturn comes.”