Skills Shortage Will Hold Back Construction Recovery Warns Wakemans
Activity in the construction sector continues its upward trend but the skills shortage that has been evident for some could severely hold back a full recovery, warns national property and construction consultants Wakemans.
According to Wakemans director Adrian Aston, significant labour shortages have become a feature on many projects across all sectors ever since the recovery began two years ago.
“The skills shortage has emerged as the single biggest issue in construction and the industry must address it if we are to have the necessary resources in place to fuel the recovery.”
The latest RICS construction market surveys supports this view as 49% of respondents reported that skills shortages were having a negative impact on further growth. At the same time, the proportion of respondents reporting labour shortages across all the main trades climbed to 53%.
Adrian believes that the problem extends beyond trades and that there is also a shortage of professionals, such as Quantity Surveyors, he says , “This will only get worse as construction workloads rise and more people retire. We had large numbers leaving the professions during the recession and these posts need to be replaced but the construction industry has always had an issue attracting new young people, with tough competition from other sectors.
“There is an urgent need to bring new people into the industry and fast in order to have an adequate workforce in 2015. Industry experts are predicting that growth could be as high as 6% this year and the government has forecast that its construction pipeline will show growth of 10% in their projects. If this is the case, we will start to see an impact as early as the spring.”