Does The Construction Industry Lack Skilled Workers?

As the construction industry is growing, enquiries and orders are increasing for subcontractors. This all sounds good…. the only problem is the alarming lack of skilled workers available to recruit.

The below information is correct as of 12/05/15

What is causing the lack of skilled workers in construction?

50% of those surveyed by the National Specialist Contractors Council experienced difficulty in recruiting. Applicants who are applying for construction jobs are not skilled enough. This is due to a shortage of applicants who are classed as skilled. This has resulted in just over 1 in 4 firms having to turn work down.

Skilled Workers

The retirement of skilled and experienced workers is also increasing. On average just under a quarter of the workforce is over fifty. Furthermore 15% of those being in their sixties. The construction sector is not the most favoured route to take for a lot of people due to the lack of stable work and pay. With workers ageing and a shortage of young people coming through it raises the question of how the crisis be solved?

Both the professional image of construction and the practical side is facing adversity. One in five job vacancies across the industry cannot be filled. Therefore employers are struggling to find staff with the relevant skills.

Can school levers tackle the skills shortage?

A big question is why do young school leavers not want to fill the employment opportunities available? One of the reasons may be the image people have of the construction industry.  Under half of the nation’s, 14 -19 year old’s are not interested in the industry.

The “Skills Crisis” is also influencing an increase in tender prices which are likely to escalate even more due to an anticipated 65% rise in workload over the coming year.

This creates the question, do we need to invest more in training people with the right skills to meet the demand of the construction industry?

Four years on has anything changed?

The rate of retirement in construction is on the up as almost a quarter of construction workers are 50 and over. Things are looking to get worse as the same problems are still there.

Due to increases in poor mental health with young people, though the world of construction appears to be increasingly more unattractive. Temporary work can be off-putting due to its uncertainty. Also, bosses are unable to get the right people for roles. The image of muddy boots and uneducated school dropouts, unfortunately, giving the industry an inaccurate bad reputation.

The issue doesn’t just lie with children. Parents are relaying this inaccurate image of construction. This highlights a need for better education of the opportunities available.

What does the construction industry have to do to get more skilled workers?

The industry needs to work with education to ensure there are clear pathways available. Schools need to teach the right skills at grassroots. They need to bring young people in through apprenticeships and older qualified professionals need to also see construction as an attractive option.

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