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John Tutte, CEO at Redrow Homes, comments on the index of UK labour costs from the ONS

Today’s data shows that the construction skills shortage is widespread and directly affecting wages, as illustrated by the 8.6% year on year increase in labour costs seen in the sector.

"Certainly, this reflects what we are seeing on the ground and more needs to be done urgently to recruit a broad range of skills to plug the gaps and ensure stability within the market. Interestingly the shortage of talent in construction has shifted from manual labour roles, such as bricklayers, towards technical roles such as engineers and surveyors. Clearly a blend of skills across all these areas is crucial to ensure that Britain continues building at the pace needed."

“A lack of awareness around the sheer variety of roles available in the construction industry is a huge barrier to recruitment so educating both young adults and their parents is key to changing perceptions. Careers in construction are some of the most diverse in the economy and range from town planners and architects all the way through to quantity surveyors and engineers. This year we are continuing with our higher apprenticeship scheme and have recently taken in a second intake of 20 bright young trainees who are studying and training to become engineers and quantity surveyors. In addition, our efforts to attract women to construction careers have been hugely successful, with women accounting for just 10% of new trainee recruits in 2009 to 50% today.”