The Evidence Base

Andy - a short intro about how we compiled the evidence base

Employer demand for skills and training:

  • Construction employers need to recruit and train 114,000 people per year through to 2020 across professionals and skilled trades to meet the industry’s needs.
  • The greatest percentage increase in demand for skills will be for logistics, with a 9% increase required, bricklayers (7%) and civil engineers (5%).
  • The largest annual increase needed in sheer volume will be for management and other professionals (13,000), wood trades and fit out (11,300), painters and decorators (6,500), electrical trades (6,500), labourers (6,000).
  • Annual demand for skills varies across Great Britain, from London (12,785) to the North East (6,151).  As a percentage increase on the existing workforce, it is greatest in Wales (7.6% increase required), and lowest in the South East (3.6%) and London (3.2%).
  • Employers are also looking to a workforce equipped with wider skills to improve ‘productivity’ (e.g. work readiness, leadership, communication, team working) and ‘future’ skills (modern methods of construction, digitisation, airtight buildings, new materials, and energy efficiency) Many employers will also look to recruit ‘multiskilled’ workers.

Current supply of skills and training:

  • More than two thirds of the 382 Further Education Colleges deliver some form of construction training;
  • Of the 119 universities, 81 offer courses related to construction;
  • Further and higher education combined delivers nearly  a quarter of a million construction qualifications per annum (from Level 1 to postgraduate) 
  • There are marked national and regional differences around apprentice numbers and achievement of qualifications –Scotland, the North East and Wales show highest uptake of Apprentices (around 8 apprentices per 1,000 workers) with Greater London, the South East and East the lowest (around 2 per 1000 workers).  There are similar regional differences in England for qualification achievements.

Comparing supply and demand:

  • In 14 out of 19 ‘Skilled Trades’, training levels are below recruitment needs. 
  • Five occupations show more qualifications than existing demand, including Plant Operatives (those using heavy mechanical equipment such as diggers) and Scaffolding – though employer feedback has identified some short-term skills needs in these areas.
  • Demand for ‘Professional’ skills exceeds supply; however the data we have collected shows an apparent oversupply for Architects and Civil Engineers. This needs further work to understand how many of these professionals are working in the construction sector.
  • ‘Other’ general operatives (those without role-specific skills, who work across building sites) is an area where they seem to be more trainees than roles, although there is a question of how well achievements prepare these workers for entering the industry.

Regional Skills and Training Analysis

Find out how our skills demand and supply analysis has helped us to identify the current skills gaps across the UK. 

Current UK Training Provision

The UK's current training provision map shows....

Training Provision

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