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Skills shortage threatens infrastructure project pipeline

Olympics aquatics centre construction 12

Civils contractors have said that low levels of skilled workers is a major factor inhibiting their ability to deliver projects. 

A survey by the Civil Engineering Contractors Association (CECA) has found that a shortage of skilled workers is putting pressure on civils contractors ability to complete projects. 

The analysis came as part of CECA’s s quarterly Workload Trends Survey.  

In Great Britain, half of respondents reported dissatisfaction with the supply of skilled operatives. 

CECA Director of External Affairs Marie-Claude Hemming said: “There are now serious concerns as to the ability to attract skilled staff to cope with a growing market.   

“There is a substantial pipeline of work to be delivered in the coming years. Industry and government need to work together through the Construction Sector Deal to respond to these challenges.” 

The other findings of the report were just as bleak, with 89% of British firms on balance, reporting costs going up, the highest in nearly three years.  

Further to this, seven out of 10 sectors also reported falling workloads, on balance, with gas works recording the weakest balance (-58%), followed by local roads (-21%). 

For local roads, this marked 13 consecutive quarters of decline. 

Readers' comments (1)

  • This situation is entirely of the industries own making. Construction needs to change its ways. Much of the work can be deskilled and mechanised unfortunately that requires investment that the industry continues to avoid doing whilst the procurement methods of government and Tier 1 contractors deters specialist sub contractors from investing.
    Tier 1 contractors have also forgotten that their business is selling their ability to manage risk; they have become risk adverse in everything they do and as a consequence that they cannot make anything more than a small margin on construction activities.

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