68,000 jobs at risk from construction spending cuts

Grant Prior 14 years ago
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Government spending cuts could lead to another 68,000 construction job losses between 2011 and 2015.

That is the warning from the Construction Skills Network as the training body was forced to revise its unemployment forecasts in the wake of cuts to schemes like BSF.

Annual figures released in January had forecast 38,000 job losses in 2010 as the industry makes a slow and painful recovery from the recession.

But today’s revision shows that severe spending cuts could put a further 68,000 jobs in construction at risk from 2011 through to 2015.

These latest figures come on the back of more than 144,000 workers in the UK’s construction industry losing their jobs between 2008 and 2009.

Judy Lowe, Deputy Chairman of ConstructionSkills, said: “Obviously any Government seeking to balance the books has to look at the procurement of major public programmes.

“Most people in the industry would agree, for example, that BSF has been slow, costly and Byzantine in its complexity.  But these projections make for bleak reading, and frankly, they may only be the start.

“What we’d prefer, is to work with government to make sure that public sector programmes are procured more cost-effectively.

“That way  people get their desperately-needed schools and hospitals, and we don’t risk putting an additional 68,000 people out of work.

“There is very little point in saving public money with the one hand whilst paying people to be unemployed with the other.”

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