According to recent research from the City & Guilds Group in collaboration with The Work Foundation, one in 20 UK construction companies think that their current workforce lacks the necessary skills to cope with current demand, or lack the skills that will be needed going into the future.
The report highlights the many challenges now facing the UK construction sector over recruiting adequately skilled labour. This has resulted in the City & Guilds Group calling upon Government and construction industry representatives to form a plan of action to remedy the current skills problem and to future-proof the industry going forward.
Steps being recommended include lifelong learning, upskilling and reskilling initiatives.
What project managers are facing
There is no denying that the construction industry is a major contributor to the UK economy. It generates almost £90 billion annually (6.7% of GDP) and is a major employer across the board employing over 2.93 million people, which equates to around 10% of UK employment (BIS).
Like other business sectors and industries, it was hit hard by the 2008 recession with a loss of over 140,000 construction jobs. Further losses were incurred during the 2012 economic dip, both of which have contributed greatly to the current skills shortages.
The construction industry also faces a high retirement level of skilled workers. With the rate of retirement looking set to increase in the next few years because 22% of the workforce is over 50, and 15% are in their 60s, this will also have a negative impact on skilled workforce numbers over the next decade.
What Skilled Labour Services is doing to address the skills shortage
We understand that project managers undertaking civil engineering projects are looking to source temporary labour for their projects and need highly trained groundwork operatives to do an efficient job and deliver high-quality work.
Skilled Labour Services currently work with many construction project managers across the South Coast providing a solid source of well-trained, reliable and dedicated labour to suit your individual projects.
As a leading groundwork labour provider, Skilled Labour Services is committed to ensuring that we can supply top-notch well-trained temporary labour not only right now, but also going into the future. We do this through:
- Encouraging new blood into the industry through the offer of regular and ongoing work
- Training and upskilling our workers
- Providing work opportunities which are close to home
- Offering a variety of civil engineering work – utilities, sea defences, highway construction
With regard to the future construction industry workforce, there is a problem with attracting and retaining young workers in this sector. Skilled Labour Services is addressing this head-on.
This means that by working with us you will have no problem finding the right balance of groundwork labour to suit your needs for projects covering the South Coast, including Hampshire, Sussex, Dorset and Surrey.
Skilled Labour Services investing in the future
The trap that many labour providers have fallen into is one where they avoid investing in their workforce. Many operations will simply hire and fire construction workers with no regard to the individual.
Skilled Labour Services is different because we think this hire and fire approach is negative and unsustainable. What we do instead is to encourage the long term development of individual workers and equip them with the necessary skills and knowledge to successfully carry them and the construction industry safely into the future.
Encouraging young people into the industry
Skilled Labour Services actively encourage more young people to enter the construction industry by paying for their first CSCS card and giving them first-hand working experience on site.
Our young recruits work with us during their first on-site project and then we retain them so that they can move forward with us.
Our experienced gangers train our new recruits and give them a good grounding, overview and initial understanding of the industry. We effectively set up each individual for a career in the construction industry.
Training and upskilling
We provide our staff with a wide range of training courses to better enable them with the skills they need including, SSSTS, Streetworks, dumper & roller and abrasive wheels courses amongst others.
This means that all new recruits that come to us for temporary work will gain better skills and more enhanced prospects within the construction industry.
Skills development and retention
Skilled Labour Services has a proud record of skilled worker retention. We help our workers to develop and improve their essential skills and working knowledge that will keep them retained in the industry.
We are very proud to say that we have labour operatives that have been with us on a continuous basis for over 6 years. Over this period they would have gained the training and skills necessary to have progressed from being site labourers to gangers.
If you would like to talk to Skilled Labour Services (Southern) to discuss your labour needs, then do not hesitate to contact our friendly team.