The skills shortage in the construction sector is at “breaking point” according to a new survey of project managers and contractors.
Six in ten senior decision-makers in the industry said they believed the quality of their work was suffering due to a lack of experienced staff, while one in ten said low supply of skilled workers was “critically impacting” their budgets, according to a poll conducted by Scape Group.
Figures published by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) last week showed wages were growing at 8.4 per cent a year for construction workers, the fastest pace since 2001, and more than three times' the 2.4 per cent annual growth for the average UK worker.
Meanwhile, the number of people working in the industry, at 2.3m, is still down on pre-crisis levels, despite the creation of more than two million jobs across the wider economy over the same period.
The skills shortage was most acute in the public sector, where 80 per cent of companies said their budgets were being affected by the difficulty to find staff.
Mark Robinson, chief executive of Scape Group said: “The skills shortage is at breaking point, not only severely impacting the quality of what we are building but also our ability to build it on budget.”
Firms across the construction supply chain said they would like to see better advertising of government projects and contracts, so they could win more business and have time to hire and train staff before taking on new work.