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No 'doom-mongering' -154,000 jobs may be at risk say SummitSkills

More than 150,000 jobs may go says SummitSkills, which has published a report predicting the recession's impact on the building services engineering (BSE) sector.
The report by the sector skills council for (BSE), is based on responses from BSE consultants (CIBSE members) who were interviewed in the last few months about the economic downturn and how it may affect the sector’s workload across five areas: private commercial; private industrial; private housing; social housing; major public works.

The report estimates that between 10% (in social housing sector) and 55% (private housing) of work may be postponed or cancelled as a result of the recession.

This may lead to anywhere between 67,000 and 154,000 jobs being at risk in the contracting industry should this predicted loss of work be realised.

These predictions are in line with recent figures from the Office for National Statistics which shows the UK construction industry has suffered more than 45,000 redundancies in the three months to December 2008.

Keith Marshall OBE, chief executive of SummitSkills, said: “It’s inevitable that businesses will be, and have already been, affected by the recession. Rather than doom-mongering, our emphasis is on being realistic and providing the sector with an appreciation of where consultants feel that work may be cut back. By being aware of the potential consequences, we can start to prepare contingency measures to assist BSE employers.”

SummitSkills says potentially between 2,300 and 5,400 apprentices will be made redundant.

The sector skills council is trying to minimise the impact the recession might have on the sector’s workforce by redeploying and training maintenance of redundant apprentices, supporting employers to develop the skills of existing workers and maintaining the stream of new entrants in preparation for the sector coming out of recession.

The new report also suggests that during the last five years, consultant workforce numbers have increased with 66% having increased its practice size.

A similar percentage (64%) expect their workforce to expand further during the five years to 2015 - good news for the future recruitment of graduates.

Click here to view the RecessionReport
9 March 2009


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