Construction bodies urge action to tackle severe skills shortages


Leading construction bodies have called for combined action between industry and Government to address severe skills shortages

Nine industry federations and representative bodies have jointly called for collaboration to boost availability of occupations in greatest skills shortages including site supervisors, operatives and quantity surveyors.

The organisations – Association for Consultancy & Engineering, Build UK, Civil Engineering Contractors Association, Construction Plant-hire Association, Construction Products Association, Federation of Master Builders, Highways Term Maintenance Association, National Federation of Builders and the Chartered Institute of Building – want to see the industry work together to accelerate recruitment for 18 severe shortage roles in industry.

The roles facing severe skills shortages are:

  • Acoustic Engineers
  • Bricklayers
  • Carpenters
  • Ceiling Fixers
  • Chartered Surveyors
  • Civil Engineers
  • Construction & building trades supervisors
  • Construction Project Managers
  • Design engineers
  • Dry Liners General Labourers
  • Groundworkers
  • Mechanical & Electrical Engineers
  • Planners
  • Plant And Machine Operatives
  • Production Managers And Directors
  • Quantity Surveyors
  • Structural Engineers.

The roles have been identified through research from across the members of each organisation and the wider industry as those that are hardest to recruit for.

The groups recommend that wherever possible, steps should be taken to recruit for these roles within the UK, bringing in new workers or upskilling the existing workforce. Where this is not possible, it is proposed that the Government add the roles to its Shortage Occupation list as part of its current review of migration as the UK leaves the EU.

Additions to the Shortage Occupation list would allow these roles to be prioritised in future migration from the rest of the world, helping industry to fill these essential roles.

Suzannah Nichol MBE, chief executive at Build UK said: “Construction projects across the UK are being held back by a shortage of suitable skills. This survey provides vital evidence of the specific roles which must now be considered by the Government for inclusion on the Shortage Occupation list ensuring that we can keep Britain building.”

CECA chief executive Alasdair Reisner said: “Speaking to companies from across UK construction we have identified some key roles where recruitment is already very difficult, or where it will become so once migration from the EU is reduced post-Brexit.

“We believe that it is crucial that we work together, as an industry and with Government to target these shortage occupations, boosting recruitment and training in the UK, while looking to sensible migration from the rest of the world to meet additional demand.”


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