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Survey reveals impact of Covid-19 on the local construction industry

The Construction Industry Training Board Northern Ireland (CITB NI) recently conducted a survey to gauge the impact of COVID-19 on the local construction industry and the critical training needs moving forward.

Key findings include

  • Over 90% of local construction employers surveyed either furloughed or made staff redundant during the COVID-19 Pandemic.
  • 35% of those surveyed employed apprentices with the majority of these companies furloughing over 80% of apprentices.
  • 71 % of respondents had between 1 and 5 sites operating prior to lockdown with over 80% of these being closed during the pandemic and those that were open focused primarily on emergency work or operating in a reduced format.
  • It was evident from the survey responses that companies were planning for recovery and expecting to open within a month.
  • Working remotely, health and safety and financial management were the top three cited skills and training needs arising as a result of the Covid-19 Pandemic.
  • Only 35% of respondents have tried online training.
CITB NI along with the rest of the industry, are looking at the measures that have been put in place as a result of COVID-19.  Some of these measures suggest new ways of developing the workforce that will enhance rather than replace what has gone before.  Through a mix of grant funding and direct training interventions CITB NI will help develop the workforce to meet client needs and grow their business.
Barry Neilson, CITB NI Chief Executive said;
“COVID-19 has had a major impact on all sectors of the economy and society with construction being no exception.  Many companies have either lost, or had delayed, contracts, jobs and income and the phased return to work will affect the speed of completion of contracts and work. As we enter the recovery stage it is important for employers to take note of industry and Government advice which will support and guide our industry back to work safely and productively. 

Apprentices are vital to the construction industry, both employers and the Government understand the importance of employing apprentices to help grow and develop the skills and economic sector. Throughout the months of April and May CITB NI paid out over £200,000 in training grants including £160,000 paid out to support apprentices. We need to continue to protect and improve this talent pipeline to help sustain the future of construction.

It is also essential that employers consider their training requirements at this time.  Training is important at every stage of business but never has it been as important than during the global pandemic. New approaches to training will be crucial moving forward into the recovery phase to help upskill and retrain in key areas for progression”

CITB NI provides a range of training services. For all the latest training available visit

Click here to see full survey report