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Skills shortage will present an opportunity for those with relevant qualifications

5th May 2015

Skills and labour shortages in the UK construction sector are continuing to cause concern. According to the RICS survey for the first quarter of 2015 two thirds of surveyors are warning that the skills shortage in the construction sector getting worse not better.


With the general election just around the corner the sector has slowed slightly in recent months. This is to be expected in the run up to an election with an uncertain outcome. Despite this it would appear that outward confidence for growth in the sector is strong. 79% of respondents in the RICS survey are expecting their workloads to rise over the next 12 months and this to translate into 3.8% growth in 2015.

ICS Director of the Built Environment Alan Muse said, “Despite the outward optimism, there are some very real unknowns which are impacting on industry, including the general election, the UK’s relationship with Europe and skills shortages.

The upturn in workloads has led to more competitive tendering, particularly across public sector projects, but a lack of accessible finance is now affecting a net balance of 55% of our members, and this will be felt most keenly among the small-medium sized businesses. Now that material shortages are becoming less of an issue, the practical challenges are in providing the skilled labour the industry needs.”

The skills shortage is clearly a concern for business managers and the economy however it will present opportunities for those who are prepared. Scaffolding and working at height is just one of the areas where the skills shortage is likely to have an impact. We’ve already seen salaries in the construction sector rise and this is likely to continue.

Those with the right skills, experience and industry qualifications will be in a position to take advantage of the situation. Benefiting from a rise in income and the opportunity to be more selective about the roles or contracts they take on.

There has never been a better time to train and gain vital qualifications which will pay off in the near future.

Simian offers a range of courses for scaffolders at all levels, from apprenticeships to training for supervisors and scaffolding inspectors. For more information see our training pages