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How the skills shortage is affecting construction growth…


In a recent article for the Business Insider section of the Daily Record, reporter Victoria Masterson finds that cautious optimism reigns as construction faces up to major issues, many of which Curtis Moore have identified and highlighted in recent months through our blog.

Although the industry continues to grow most quarters key issues such as the skills shortage and procurement are becoming crucial to whether the boom will last much longer.

In its latest findings, Scottish Building Federation recorded that more than three quarters of contractors are either moderately or extremely concerned about the impact of the skill shortage on the future growth of their business.

This is coupled with the issues with of public sector procurement processes with over 40% of respondents saying they cant afford to bid for costly and time consuming tenders.

With this in mind, ahead of the 2016 Scottish Parliament elections, the Federation has launched a policy manifesto addressing some of these concerns.

Screen Shot 2016-04-07 at 11.55.00“As we look ahead to next year’s Scottish Parliament elections, there are a number of critical issues facing the construction industry which we are keen to see politicians across all parties get to grips with,” says Scottish Building Federation managing director Vaughan Hart.

“Policy areas such as procurement, planning, capital investment and skills will all have a major influence on the industry’s future.”

It is true that one of the biggest issues we face as an industry is how is people and the availability of skilled workers which will hinder the progression and growth of construction across the country.

According to Contract Scotland, the largest independent supplier of staff to the industry said vacancies had doubles since 2013 as the sector recovered confidence from the recession, with quantity surveyors, civil engineers and structural design engineers amongst the highest in demand. Demand for workers has outstripped the number of people attracted to the industry which leaves it risk.

Vacancies across the sector add pressure to the existing teams who have to pick up the extra work and lead to delays in project timescales.

However, we are hopeful that with with new Government campaigns such as GoConstruct that things will begin to improve. GoConstruct was launched in response to the recruitment challenge our industry is facing. The campaign aims to challenge some of the outdated stereotypes about what working in construction is really like, and demonstrate the hundreds of career options and entry routes available from work experience, training courses and career guidance.