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Lack of skilled workforce is industry's biggest headache

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SKILLS SHORTAGES in the construction industry remain the biggest concern among engineering ms, according to the Association for Consultancy and Engineering's (ACE) second State of Business report.

The ACE expects the UK construction industry to grow by an average of 2.6% up to 2015.

But it also finds that the industry will lack the skilled workforce it needs, as people drift out of consulting and engineering ms and into management consulting and accountancy. Three-quarters of firms ranked skills shortages as their top worry.

Workloads have actually increased more quickly than the 2005 State of Business report predicted last year, with 70% of businesses reporting growth and 10% reporting decline. Last year only 65% expected growth and 12% expected decline.

Sectors showing the greatest growth include roads, nuclear and rail. Two main problems are cited: delays in payments and recruiting, and retaining skilled engineers.

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