North West building firms fear shortage of skilled people will hamper growth in 2016

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Funding secured for Northern Ireland highway programme
November 27, 2015

North West building firms fear shortage of skilled people will hamper growth in 2016

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A new survey claims mor than 80% of building contractors in the North West believe that skills shortages will hold their businesses back next year.

The research by construction recruitment specialist Ionic found that 71% of North West contractors struggled with skills shortages in 2015 – while 83% believe the issue will have a detrimental effect on their bottom line in 2016.

There are particular concerns over a lack of quantity surveyors, estimators and site-based personnel.

Warrington-based Ionic, which advises a number of building firms working in Merseyside, conducted an industry perception audit of 50 contractors around the region.

The headline findings include some 54% of respondents citing cost inflation for labour/subcontractor rates as a barrier to growth – an issue directly linked to skills shortages.

Martyn Makinson, managing director of Ionic, said: “The New Year will highlight some old anxieties for many regional contractors. The construction industry has introduced a range of initiatives this year to try to combat the chronic skills shortages; however, the scarcity of key personnel continues to hold back the sector.”

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