THE construction industry is facing a real skills shortage, a report has warned.

The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) says the North has insufficient quantity surveyors and a lack of bricklayers and plumbers.

A survey revealed private housing and commercial and industrial sectors are driving strong growth across the UK, with 35 per cent of Northern firms revealing rising workloads.

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However, it said a shortage of workers, including bricklayers and managers, coupled with difficulties accessing building materials, is likely to result in rising costs and pricing pressures.

In the North, 49 per cent of survey respondents highlighted a lack of managerial workers, with a shortage of bricklayers, plumbers and electricians rising to its highest level since 2006.

Alan Muse, RICS’ director of built environment, said: “The UK construction market is mirroring the natural consequence of a rise in demand after five subdued years.

“The upsurge in housing demand is creating pressure across an industry which failed to invest in attracting new talent or train existing employees at the height of the economic downturn.

“The good news is there is reason for optimism, with workloads, profits and employment all forecast to deliver growth over the next 12 months.

“It is now the responsibility of industry to invest in training and technology to ensure it capitalises on these opportunities.”