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Thousands of building jobs at risk

PUBLISHED: 10:34 05 June 2009 | UPDATED: 09:56 06 July 2010

Up to 17,700 jobs in building engineering services are at risk in the East of England because of the recession, according to new research.

Up to 17,700 jobs in building engineering services are at risk in the East of England because of the recession, according to new research.

A study commissioned by SummitSkills , the Sector Skills Council for building services engineering (BSE), concluded that between at best 7,691 and at worst 17,768 jobs could be at risk because of the volume of work likely to be cancelled or postponed as a result of the downturn.

The BSE sector comprises the electrotechnical, heating, ventilating, air conditioning, refrigeration and plumbing industries.

Nationwide, the study concluded that the sector could suffer up to 154,699 redundancies in the coming months.

SummitSkills said it research also suggested that hiring apprentices might be one way to help businesses weather the downturn - saving up to 15pc in labour costs on large scale projects.

Keith Marshall, chief executive of SummitSkills, said: "We have known for many years that apprentices can benefit businesses by providing opportunities to develop and grow skills and talent through businesses.

"This report now adds a sounds financial argument to the wealth of evidence in favour of employing apprentices.

"In these challenging economic times, it is critical to grow and develop new talent for the building services engineering sector to help it recover more quickly and ensure the effects of the recession are not felt as heavily in future years. Apprentices provide an important part of this solution."

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