Future Skills report says workers do not receive enough training 

construction apprentices shutterstock

Contractors should employ more people directly to ensure the industry’s workforce is better trained, according to the Construction Leadership Council.

In a report on skills in the industry, published today, the industry body also calls on clients to push for smart construction methods through early design and procurement processes.

The CLC expresses concern over future skills shortages, pointing out that, in the face of a £600bn construction pipeline, 30% of the industry’s workforce is set to retire in the next decade while the UK’s upcoming exit from the EU will also prevent freedom of movement for European workers.

The body calls on firms to bring more workers in-house, as firms are more likely to invest in the training and development of directly employed workers, which in turn increases productivity for businesses and the industry.

It echoes a construction strategy report published by the government in 2016 which said the sector suffers from fragmentation, pointing out that 99% of construction businesses are SMEs.

It also calls on clients to use early design and procurement processes, which promote the use of digital technology and advanced manufacturing techniques, which in turn will drive a need for skilled employees and worker training.

And it says industry qualifications and training should be updated to include skills associated with new and more skilled construction methods.

But the CLC warned the industry is being held back by “well documented market failures” adding: “[It] does not make enough money, or, where money is being made, it does not feel confident it will stay profitable into the future in order to allow long-term investment.”

Its call for contractors to employ more staff directly comes after Galliford Try said recently it will be reducing its workforce by a tenth under a cost-cutting plan while Balfour Beatty, which achieved an industry-leading 2.4% underlying margin in the second half of 2018, warned it will have to make redundancies if HS2 does not go ahead.