Renewed concern over construction industry skills decline

He said that the subsequent loss of skills and capacity would result in the sector "not being able to build to the standards we have set ourselves".

To safeguard jobs and skills in the construction industry, Mr Farookhi, said a programme of retro-fitting was needed.

"The focus is on new homes, but our second-hand stock has been neglected. There’s a real opportunity over the next few years to do this efficiently as part of a national programme. What better time to do it – it would be very good for skills and we will have to do it sometime."

Peter Quinn, Head of Business Development at developer Lovell, echoed these concerns.

He said: "The drip, drip effect of job losses in house builders and its supply chain of carpenters, electricians etc will reduce capacity. It will be years before they come back into the industry, making it hard to crank up house building once you’ve lost the workers."

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