Industry unites for largest-ever poll on skills shortages to gauge Brexit impact

Companies from across the UK construction sector are being invited to take part in the largest-ever research project on skills shortages. As the UK prepares for the departure from the EU next year, construction’s leading trade and professional bodies have joined forces to build a picture of those occupations that are in greatest demand. 

The survey, which will go out to more than 20,000 companies nationwide, will ask respondents to indicate which roles they are finding it difficult to recruit now and which they expect to be challenging post-Brexit. 

The survey is supported by the following industry groups.

  • Association for Consultancy & Engineering
  • Build UK and member trade bodies
  • Chartered Institute of Building
  • Civil Engineering Contractors Association
  • Construction Plant-hire Association
  • Construction Products Association and member trade bodies
  • Federation of Master Builders 
  • Highways Term Maintenance Association
  • National Federation of Builders

To ensure that the survey has as wide reach as possible, companies that are not members of the above organisations are also invited to take part in the survey. Evidence uncovered from the survey will be used to identify where the industry should be focussing its efforts to recruit new workers. 

It will also be used to engage with the government and Migration Advisory Committee to support decision-making on appropriate migration for workers from the EU and rest of the world. 

Mark Reynolds, Mace chief executive and skills lead for the Construction Leadership Council, said: “We know that our sector will need to recruit hundreds of thousands of new workers over the coming years. We want to ensure that this recruitment is supported with targeted actions by industry and government. The first step in achieving this is the development of a detailed picture of those occupations where we face the biggest challenge. I welcome the fact that the industry is unifying to develop this research and encourage all companies from across the industry to take part in the survey.”

Hannah Vickers, chief executive of the Association for Consultancy and Engineering, said: “With all the uncertainty around Brexit and its impact on skills, we need to make sure that our industry has a sound evidence base from which to argue, which is why I will be asking all our members to participate in the survey. We will need to come together in one voice and collectively make the case for construction to government, ensuring that any post-Brexit agreement secures the skills our sector needs now and into the future.”

Alasdair Reisner, chief executive at the Civil Engineering Contractors Association, said: “Our members tell us that recruitment is probably their single biggest challenge. We can only overcome this by working together, targeting significant interventions based on high-quality industry data to ensure that we can recruit and train the next generation of construction workers” 

Click here to take part in the industry skills shortages survey.

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