Belfast Telegraph

Skills shortages could hit construction sector growth, RICS report warns

A fresh warning about a shortage of skilled workers has been issued by the construction industry amid expectations of increased workloads.

The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) reported the most positive picture for contracts since the EU referendum.

However, skills shortages and financial constraints could hit the sector, it was warned.

A survey of more than 330 RICS members found just over half said a shortage of skilled labour was affecting growth.

RICS policy manager Geoff White said: " The increase in workloads and expectations are very welcome.

"The government's focus on and investment in infrastructure is showing through, however, as RICS has been pointing out for a number of years, a shortage of skilled labour, including quantity surveyors, will hold back development and growth.

"It stems from short-sighted government policy over the past 10 years and puts more pressure on the future government to invest more, and quickly, in construction training and skills."

RICS estimated EU nationals account for 8% of the construction industry workforce, warning the availability of overseas workers was a major Brexit issue which could threaten major infrastructure and construction projects.