The UK construction industry is one of the pillars of the nation’s economy. According to statistics, the industry is steadily growing by 1.3% in 2017 and will continue to accelerate in 2019 up to 2.3%.
Despite the steady growth, however, experts say that there is a skills gap in the construction industry. In fact, the Recruitment and Employment Confederation (REC) reported that the shortage of skilled professionals in construction and engineering is already at a critical level.
The Construction Industry Training Board (CITB) echoes the REC’s concern and said that the construction industry needs at least 36,000 new skilled workers every year. This lack will have a significant impact on thousands of construction projects that are ongoing and will continue to rise until 2019.
Experts have observed that there are three main causes for the skills gap. One, there’s not a lot of new workers entering the industry. Two, the ageing sector in the UK construction industry is increasing resulting in skills leaving the industry. Three, construction projects are increasing while the workers are decreasing.
It’s not just the skills gap
The skills gap alone is reason enough for the construction industry to provide training to their people. However, there are other pressing reasons why training is necessary and should be a priority for a construction company.
Here are the other reasons why:
- It improves risk management. Construction work is dangerous and without the proper safety training, there is more risk of accidents happening in the workplace. However, proper safety training will not just lessen the risk but it will also reduce any litigation fees and administrative fines the company will incur if an accident happens in the workplace.Safety training should never be disregarded even if there are looming deadlines or unforeseen delays. With regular training, workers are kept reminded from time to time what they need to do. As they become mindful of the things they need to do, they become aware of the risks that come if they don’t follow the guidelines. Thus, training is not for the apprentice only but also for the seasoned veterans.
- It boosts retention and succession rates. Regular training hones the skills of your employees. Consequently, it opens up new opportunities for them. When employees see that they have room for growth and opportunities to go further in the company and in the industry, they are more likely to stay. This also solves the problem of older workers leaving the workforce earlier than they’re supposed to.
Training is essential but..
Training indeed is very important in the construction industry because it addresses the main pain points the industry is going through. However, banking on training alone is not enough to fully solve the problems, especially the skills gap.
Aside from training, construction companies should also look after its people if they want to attract more workers to join the industry.
What does it mean?
It simply means giving its ageing workforce less labour intensive tasks since they will have a hard time coping up with more physically intense tasks. Another method can be flexible working hours to entice the younger set to enter and the older set to stay longer.