Due to the recent boom in construction, there has been a notable shortage of skills within the industry. One such role which many companies are finding harder and harder to fill is that of an estimator.
Although there is a shortage of qualified workers across many roles in construction, the role of an estimator is arguably one of the most important and sought after. Whilst there has been an increase in people taking up training and roles in Quantity Surveying and Site Engineering, the role of Estimator is still one of the most in demand from employers.
This is partly being put down to insufficient government investment in training within the industry. As appropriate training and qualifications for estimators have become less prominent, with less focus and funding, the building industry has been growing, resulting in a major shortage of qualified staff to fill the role of Estimator.
In addition, many people have been put off entering into the industry as a result of the recession. With so many jobs (around 400,000) lost in the recession, it’s easy to see why people wouldn’t want to return to the industry (only a quarter of those did), and why younger people would be put off training in this area. As a result, now that the industry is booming again, there’s a serious shortage of Estimators around.
This causes major problems within the roofing and construction industry, as it means jobs and contracts could be set back weeks or even months whilst an Estimator for the job can be found.
Traditionally in owner managed businesses, the Managing Director is often the one who visits and prices many new jobs. They become involved in a project in its early stages, often whilst in competition with other companies. The role of an estimator is extremely important and can be the difference between a company winning and losing a project.
However, due to more young people entering into the Quantity Surveying role rather than an estimating role, which do vary, there is a lack of estimators in our industry. In order for UK construction to progress and attract new talent there needs to be a shift in approach. By recruiting younger staff and training them from the ground up while they achieve their qualifications we can help develop their knowledge and provide them with the essential experience required to become an Estimator from a young age. Being able to work alongside the Managing Director our apprentices gain valuable experience that many new graduates are lacking.
Every job we are involved in needs an Estimator before we can get to the level of actually laying any roofing or erecting cladding anywhere, so this is a major issue for the industry and something we believe needs to change. We have been doing our bit to ensure we are working together to strengthen the industry, which includes things like opening up apprenticeships in the most in demand roles. We also understand the importance of having a balanced team, and with fresh new talent we also need committed, experienced professionals in order to offer our clients the best roofing service possible.