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Lack of skilled workers threatens UK economic growth

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One of the North’s leading window manufacturers is warning about a severe skill shortage hitting the manufacturing industry.

Building Product Solutions currently has five job openings and is yet to receive any interest. The growing business believes this is down to the current lack of skilled workers in their industry.

Managing director Ian Harrison said: “It’s an exciting time to join our growing team; we’re expanding the premises, investing heavily in marketing and PR, and securing sizable contracts, yet we’re still struggling to fill these excellent positions.

“If our industry can’t keep pace with the construction industry, it could affect the UK economy as a whole.”

A recent survey of 616 businesses by The Prince’s Trust and HSBC found 43 per cent think Britain’s recovery will slow down during the next 12 months due to a lack of skilled workers, while 35 per cent fear their businesses will fold as a result.

The survey revealed that, like Building Product Solutions, half of all businesses polled were already having trouble filling vacancies.

Ian added: “There is a huge opportunity for young people as the manufacturing industry continues to grow exponentially.

“Manufacturing and construction in particular offer plenty of career progression and continued professional development.”

The industry requires 82,000 people alone just to cover retirements over the next two years and with 45 per cent of businesses citing their ageing workforce as a concern Building Product Solutions is keen to encourage more young people to come in to the industry.

“There is currently 737,000 young people unemployed. Now is the perfect time for businesses to do more to encourage these young people into the manufacturing and construction sector.

“Here, we’re keen supporters of the apprenticeship scheme but it’s shocking to know that only 18% of fellow businesses are.”

Building Product Solutions achieved a turnover of £2 million in the year up to May 2014 –trebling its turnover in just five years of trading.

It now has £7.5 million worth of jobs on its books after winning long-term contracts to supply major housing developers such as Taylor Wimpey, Gleeson, Persimmon and Redrow Homes.

Wanted: skilled workers

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