To ask the Secretary of State for Employment if he will make a statement on skill shortages in the construction industry.
The strength of our economy means that some employers are finding it more difficult to meet some of their skill needs through recruitment. But employers can influence the supply of skills they need by providing the proper incentives for individuals to acquire the right skills and experience and by making the necessary investment in training.The Government have given a lead by more than doubling their investment in vocational education and training since 1979, especially through two-year YTS for school leavers and now, the new £1·4 billion training programme to provide unemployed adults with the skills which today's jobs demand. Last year the Construction Industry Training Board provided an action plan to increase CITB managed YTS places by 2,000, other YTS places by 1,000 and to provide an extra 1,000 places for adult trainees. The Manpower Services Commission also has programmes to encourage employers to recognise and meet their own training needs and make the necessary provision. Under the engineering science and technology initiative programme more resources have also been made available to increase relevant higher education opportunities in those fields.