Shortage affecting quality of work on public sector projects, research finds

Skills shortages in the construction industry are at “breaking point” and are negatively affecting the quality of projects, according to a survey from Scape.

In a survey about the construction supply chain, contracing authority Scape found that 85% of senior managers in public sector organisation they were said seeing the quality of their built environment projects negatively affected by the skills shortage.

Overall, 58% of contractors and suppliers cited the skills shortage as negatively impacting the quality of their workmanship, while 85% of SMEs said there was a skills shortage in their area.

In addition to the quality of work being impacted, 80% of public sector respondents and just under 40% of contractors and consultants said they see the skills shortage as negatively impacting their ability to keep to budget on projects.

Commenting on the survey results, Scape chief executive Mark Robinson said: “Our research has shown that the skills shortage is at breaking point, not only severely impacting the quality of what we are building but also our ability to build it on budget.

“While there is a mountain to climb to overcome this challenge, basic recommendations can be put in place to ease the burden, for example, 19% of contractors and subcontractors still do not have an apprenticeship scheme.”

Scape surveyed over 150 contractors, subcontractors and senior managers at public sector organisations.