Building labour shortages acute

Labour
shortages in the construction industry increased to record levels during the
last quarter of 2002, reveals research.

The
survey by the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors saw the biggest rise in
recruitment difficulties for the sector between October and December last year
since the annual poll started in 1996.

Fifty-six
per cent of surveyors reported recruitment difficulties during the final
quarter of 2002 – up from 39 per cent in quarter three. Shortages of
bricklayers are most acute, followed by plumbers and plasterers.

Total
construction contracts also grew in the final quarter of the year, with public
housing recording its largest-ever quarterly increase. Private housing levels
remained firm.

RICS
chief executive Louis Armstrong said the skills shortages meant it was
important to highlight opportunities on offer.

"In
the current climate a career in construction is looking more and more
attractive. RICS is working hard to ensure that opportunities and working
arrangements within the sector continue to improve," he said.

www.rics.org.uk

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