Posted 24/09/2018 by Emma Blair


We selected a number of clients that represent a cross section of the industry to ask of their opinion on the current skills shortage in the UK construction and engineering market, and what can be done to solve it. Here's what they had to say...

David Lannigan: Senior Operations Manager at Morgan Sindall, has warned that there is a ‘storm brewing’ within the industry. David said:

“There is definitely a storm brewing with regards to a skills shortage in the construction industry.

There is a lot of interest in the media with regards to the need for apprenticeships in the trade functions but we cannot lose sight of the fact that there is a skills shortage in both the design function and construction management.

Governments and the industry need to work together better in promoting the  variety of professions that are available and the likely rewards not only in   terms of finance but in job satisfaction also.

Too often when attending careers fairs, the university stands are jam packed  with eager students and we have to fight for our share of interest. This, coupled  with the serious lack of knowledge within career guidance teachers means the  industry is often the last place that is synonymous with those in a professional  career and this is not the case.

More emphasis must be put on capturing the imagination of the future  employees soon enough and then providing opportunities for the relevant  workplace experience. Then modern apprenticeship places should be offered  and help develop the talent going forward.

Whilst ultimately ending up with a degree, they should at this point be ready to  take on the responsibilities of the role unlike their full-time graduate peers who  still have to undergo that training. This needs the will and the backing of the industry and the Government in providing the facilities within further education to accommodate part time learning.

Neil Robson, Divisional Director at Clancy Consulting, insists that the industry needs to reach out to schools, as that is where the next influx of talent will come from. Jim said:

There is a lack of junior grade and intermediate level engineers on the market at the moment which makes it more difficult to fill these positions.

A greater awareness of building services engineering needs to become an area of focus to try and bring more younger people and females into the industry.

This needs to start at school level where there is an awareness of what an architect, a structural engineer or a quantity surveyor does, but not so much a building services engineer.

This can be achieved through school job fairs, businesses visiting schools for talks etc, but it will require commitment from the industry to make it happen.

This is a view shared by the Construction Director at Keepmoat Homes, Peter Forrester. Peter said:

I don’t think there are enough good people out there. The good ones have all been taken up.

We need to start thinking more about bringing graduates into the business and training them up. The industry as a whole needs to think about their training facilities. We need to target school leavers.

We’ve started to visit schools and sit down with third and fourth years to try to show the construction industry in a positive light and attract them to join it.There’s a good living to be made out of it.

Do you agree with any of these? leave a comment below!


I agree with all of the comments and Developing the Young Work Force is helping linking industry with schools and making the transition easier from school to the work place. However, my only concern is the immaturity of the majority of school leavers who are not ready for work and as a consequence we have created a pre-apprenticeship scheme to help them grow up prior to interview to being placed on the Modern Apprenticeship Scheme.
Posted on November 13, 2018 by Silvie Gowans

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