Study Reveals how UK Construction Companies Handle Skills Shortages

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15th July 2014 12:15 - Construction

A survey conducted by Hays Construction has shown that one fifth of UK construction firms have not taken any immediate action to combat the skills shortages within their workforce.

The questionnaire, which was completed by approximately 800 of Hays Construction’s UK clients, quizzed construction employers on the short and long-term action they have taken to deal with internal skills shortages.

To tackle the immediate scarcities, the most favourable route was recruiting apprentices (41%), ahead of increasing training budgets (32%), allowing employees study leave to attend external training (29%) and transferring existing staff into skill shortage areas (22%).

Other courses of action included: increasing marketing activity to raise the company’s profile with prospective candidates (18%); encouraging job sharing or shadowing to spread knowledge within the organisation (17%); recruiting people from other industries or professions (16%) and recruiting skilled migrant workers (6%).

Notably, one fifth (20%) said they had not done any of the above strategies to combat skill shortages.

In terms of addressing and solving long-term skills shortage barriers, visiting schools to promote careers in construction (21%), working with education providers to develop training programmes (20%) and supporting industry bodies to raise the profile of construction careers (20%), were the most popular methods.

Just under one fifth (19%) said they had sponsored students to study construction courses, and around one sixth (16%) said they have visited universities to raise awareness of careers in construction.

Half (50%) of the construction companies surveyed said they had not done any of the above to tackle the long-term implications of skills shortages.

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