The Civil Engineering Contractors Association (CECA) workload trends survey for the third quarter of the year found that workload and employment expectations in the next 12 months were at their highest levels since 2008 across Great Britain. As 90% of infrastructure contractors reported growth in workloads on balance, the survey also showed that the supply of skilled operatives was the largest concern for firms in England and Scotland.
To enable the construction sector to deliver future workloads, CECA believes government must support the roll-out of shared apprenticeship schemes to develop construction’s future workforce. In addition, it said that there should be an end to the ‘one-size fits all presumption’ that the same education suits everyone - academic and vocational routes should be treated equally.
CECA chief executive Alasdair Reisner said: “Last year, over one in five UK vacancies were unfilled because of a shortage of skilled workers.While some sectors are affected by the current skills deficit more than others, the construction industry is one of the worst hit. There is a substantial pipeline of work to be delivered over the next decade. It is therefore vital that British construction companies can easily find the right people for the job.”