Will skills shortage jeapodise UK Infrastructure ambitions?

  • 5 Nov 2014

Skills To Build

The Skills To Build report by London Chamber of Commerce and Industry and KPMG

The report found that:

  • This could impact the wider economy as early as April 2015, when over a total of over 600,000 workers will be needed on site to deliver major projects currently in planning,
  • a 51% increase in training provision would be required to meet demand for skilled labour between 2014 and 2017 to plug a gap of nearly 15,000 people.
  • With 255,000 workers needed on site to deliver the 2015 pipeline of housing and 400,000 of the workforce expected to retire in the next 5-10 years, change to the industry has never been more pertinent.

Read the full report here

For the first time in many generations, the UK has a strong pipeline of construction and infrastructure projects to reinvigorate the economy and drive our future competitiveness. But delivery of that pipeline is now in jeopardy – not for lack of political will or funding but for lack of a sufficiently large and trained workforce. Unless action is taken now, our housing targets will be missed, and infrastructure projects delayed. This report calls on the industry itself to wake up and take responsibility to increase levels of training dramatically. It also calls on Government and training providers to recognise that the industry is changing, with ever greater application of technology and a trend towards offsite manufacturing – the skills required in the industry tomorrow will be very different from the skills required today. Above all it calls on all in the industry to take steps to boost the image of the construction sector as an attractive career path for the next generation in our schools and colleges.

Richard Threlfall, UK Head of Infrastructure, Building and Construction at KPMG

Our members have long spoken to us about their difficulties recruiting sufficiently skilled workers. The detailed findings of this report highlight just how grave skills shortages are in the construction sector, with significant deficits of capable workers across numerous trades and professions.Our task now is to enact changes to address the inherent issues which have led to the construction skills crisis we face. We are delighted to have partnered with KPMG on this report and look forward to working withgovernment, training providers and industry alike to implement the solutions suggested.

Colin Stanbridge, Chief Executive of London Chamber of Commerce and Industry

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