Report also reveals hopes for AI productivity boost

Easing immigration restrictions on workers from the European Union will not improve construction’s workforce crisis, most firms in the sector believe. 

The government recently updated its shortage occupation list to include several job types including construction, making it easier to recruit skilled labour from abroad. 


Source: HM Treasury

Firms said Jeremy Hunt’s recent budget would do little to fill the labour gap

According to a survey by consultant Gleeds, 65% of the industry does not believe the change will resolve the issue, but 85% support the change in policy, nonetheless. 

A report published by the Construction Skills Network last summer claimed construction needed an extra 225,000 workers by 2027 to meet expected demand

Less than half of those quizzed believe chancellor Jeremy Hunt’s recent budget would have any impact whatsoever on the availability of workers, which was ranked as the top threat to the industry by survey respondents. 

A significant proportion of contractors reported having declined tender opportunities in the last quarter due to skill shortages, the consultant said. 

The survey also highlighted the potential for artificial intelligence to improve productivity in the wake of the release of Chat-GPT. 

More than half (61%) of contractor respondents and 52% of non-contractor respondents said that the technology would impact their role in the future, with nearly 30% saying that they have used Chat-GPT or a similar AI tool in the workplace already. 

Concerns around investor confidence were also raised as a concern, with 80% saying reports of negative growth and stagflation would impact investment opportunities. 

But nearly six out of 10 said investments announced in the spring budget would give some certainty to the supply chain.