In recent years we have seen encouraging signs not just that things are turning around, but that we are edging into a sustainable recovery within the construction sector. However, the UK labour market has struggled to keep up with the growth of our industry and in particular there is a well publicised shortage of skilled construction workers; the impact of which has hit the industry, some might say, like the proverbial ton of bricks.
There is no getting away from the simple fact that so many areas of the construction and engineering trade need skills that take time and effort to acquire.
But this shortage not only affects those waiting to occupy the building, it also impacts the construction firms behind the work, who in some cases may have no choice but to turn down contracts, due to the lack of multi-skilled employees.
According to the REC/KPMG Recruitment and Employment Federation jobs report, construction workers are now the most in-demand employees, as of July this year.
The need for skilled workers has even attracted regular attention of the mainstream media, most recently in last weeks Herald newspaper, with a 6 page construction special.
It’s important to bear in mind that the demand for labour has a wider impact outside our own industry, for example, office workers waiting to occupy commercial buildings. Companies looking to grow may find themselves somewhat restricted by this lack of skilled workers, despite having their plans and finances in place.
However, we believe the new initiatives set up by both the Scottish and Westminster governments to boost the number of modern apprentices are vital to the future of the industry. We are pleased to see that the Government recognise this not only as an industry problem, but an issue that spreads much further afield and could have a significant impact on the economic growth of the country.
As a company we recognise that we too have a role to play in ensuring the future growth of our sector and the need to be proactive in our approach. We invest in staff development by providing and encouraging training opportunities to all staff, our budgets for which are increasing substantially year on year. We also believe strongly in the value of hands on experience in the industry, particularly for those in office based roles. Below are some photos of some of our newest members of staff on a training course down in Birmingham at the MRCMA and our apprentice, David Murray, who was nominated in the National Construction College (NCC) Apprentice Awards earlier this year.
Although the priority is to attract more young people to join the construction industry, we also see the need to continue to retain experienced staff by creating a good working environment.
We introduced Employee of the Quarter back in 2014 and since then we have acknowledged 5 members of staff for their hard work and achievements. We have also sent new members of staff down south for some practical skills experience.
The Go Construct campaign set out by CITB and government earlier in the summer is a fantastic and much needed initiative to ensure the industry continues to thrive on it’s success. We are proud to support it and look forward to meeting some of the people who are trained through it.
After a difficult year in terms of recruitment, we are pleased to see that efforts made at national level by government and key industry stake holders are beginning to have an impact on the sector, and we must continue to work together to bridge the skills gap in construction.
As a growing company we are always keen to speak to new talent and right now we are looking for a Senior Estimator, if you’re interested in working for us take a look at our vacancies page.
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