NSCC survey reveals struggle to find enough skilled workers is toughest since 2001


The number of specialist contractors struggling to recruit skilled labour is at its highest level for 14 years as demand soars, according to the latest NSCC State of Trade Survey for the first quarter 2015.

Around 47% of specialist contractors experienced more difficulty in recruiting skilled labour, compared to just 2% who found it less difficult.

The balance of recruitment difficulty, the difference between those reporting more and less difficulty, has reached its highest level since 2001, with the low number of applicants with the required skills the biggest issue.

As a result of the skills shortage 28% of respondents said they were unable to bid for work, higher than at any time since the recession.

Despite the skills gap, demand for specialist contractors continues to increase, and any uncertainty in the run up to last week’s election had little impact on the confidence of specialist contractors.

Around 65% anticipate an increase in workload in the next quarter and a record 78% expect a rise over the coming year.

NSCC chief executive Suzannah Nichol said: “The growing construction market is great news for specialist contractors but we need to tackle head-on the skills crisis that is facing the industry.

“If we do not invest in recruiting and training people with the right skills, the industry will not be able to meet demand and this will impact on the wider UK economy.”