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Construction experts call for youngsters to join industry as skills shortage threatens sector surge

Construction experts call for youngsters to join industry as skills shortage threatens sector surge

8 September 2014

UK house builders are having a bumper year, thanks to the revival of the housing market and new ‘Help to Buy’ schemes but the construction industry has warned it is facing a problem – a shortfall in skilled professionals.

Mike Paxton, Director of Construction at Barking & Dagenham College explains:

“There are major construction projects happening in our Borough and across London. At Barking Riverside 11,000 new homes are planned as well as five new schools, whilst the Nine Elms development on the south bank of the Thames is creating thousands of jobs. Skilled construction professionals will be needed for years to come, so now is a great time to learn a skill and work toward a career in construction.”


This week, senior figures in construction warned the industry has been side-lined for too long. John Tutte, CEO of major construction firm Redrow, commented that schools have only been pushing a university career route to young people. This has led to an ageing construction workforce with little new talent coming in. Bricklaying in particular is a trade which is in great demand, but fewer and fewer skilled people are available to fill the jobs. 


Mike Paxton continues:

“Through our partnerships with employers we know how healthy the industry is. Our job is to match the demands of the industry to the training opportunities available, which is why we offer the highest quality training for construction professionals – from all the construction trades through to supervisors, site managers, quantity surveyors and architects.

“Salaries for skilled professionals are buoyant – a skilled plasterer or bricklayer can currently earn between £140 and £150 a day. Our advice is for parents and young people to re-consider the construction sector and the career opportunities it offers. There is still time to start training now, but you need to act fast.”


For those interested in finding out more and enrolling, the College is open every week day for you to come in and discuss course options and information is also available at

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