The construction industry needs to make itself more attractive to women in order to deal with the current demand for skilled workers, an expert has claimed.
A spokesperson for ConstructionSkills, the sector skills council for construction, said that the industry needed to improve its image to attract more young people, and women particularly, who had shown limited interest in the field.
The comments came after 77 per cent of 623 respondents to a Chartered Institute of Building survey said that they had experienced problems recruiting new staff in 2006.
However, although the construction industry needs 87,000 new entrants a year, this is a demand rather than a shortage, the spokesperson said.
He claimed: "There is no generalised skills shortage in the industry and there is no shortage of applicants to the industry. There is a need for more employers to open their doors to apprentices or we could be facing a skills shortage in the future."
Among the steps that the industry is taking to attract new employees are an annual recruitment campaign targeting 11 to 19-year-olds and encouraging employers to take on apprentices, he added.