Shortage of graduates and unscrupulous recruitment agencies is also hitting the industry says new report

Around 20,000 construction and engineering jobs remain unfilled, a new report has revealed.

The Association for Consultancy and Engineering (ACE) report on skill shortages also found that a further 2,400 vacancies were expected in the next 12 months.

The HR Review criticised the “unethical behaviour” of recruitment consultants. The report stated that 80% of respondents experienced “average to poor quality” at the hands of a recruitment agency.

The review condemned unscrupulous agency practices such as the poaching of staff within six months of placing them.

ACE said the review highlighted the shortfall of high-calibre graduates joining the profession and predicted that skills shortages would worsen in the lead up to 2012 if action is not taken.

Nelson Ogunshakin
Nelson Ogunshakin: staff retention is a big issue

ACE chief executive Nelson Ogunshakin said: “The review confirms that recruitment and staff retention is a serious issue affecting our sector."

Ogunshakin said ACE planneed to introduce a Recruitment Agency Charter, develop a recruitment portal, and implement a new ACE Business Academy in 2008.

The organisation said it would keep lobbying Work Permit UK to recognise engineering in the skills shortage category. The HR Review will be released on 18 September.