Desperate need for construction workers

GOVERNMENT help is desperately needed to increase the number of training places for construction workers in Suffolk.That was the call today as the county gears up for a building explosion over the next 16 years.

GOVERNMENT help is desperately needed to increase the number of training places for construction workers in Suffolk.

That was the call today as the county gears up for a building explosion over the next 16 years.

Without more training places more workers will have to be "imported" from elsewhere in the country - putting more strain on Suffolk's housing market.

Paul Wainwright from the Chartered Institute of Builders issued the warning as the East of England plan was discussed at an open meeting in Ipswich.


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There had been calls to ensure there were good transport links for young people to get to college to construction skills.

However Mr Wainwright said the problems with getting to college were largely irrelevant because there were so few places on offer.

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"Frankly the issue isn't getting to college every day, it's getting on the courses in the first place.

"There are so few courses - but builders are crying out for trained people," Mr Wainwright said.

"That means, of course, that they have to recruit people from further afield - and they need their own homes in the region."

Mr Wainwright said the industry welcomed the proposed expansion of Suffolk College and the development of a university in Ipswich because it should lead to more local people getting qualifications.

"We need more people training for white-collar, managerial positions in the construction industry," he said.

At present many construction industry trainees from all over Suffolk have to travel to Bury St Edmunds to go to college - and that can be very difficult for some in remote areas of the county.

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