New report shows continued skills shortage in construction

New report shows continued skills shortage in construction

The construction sector plays an important role in the state of the overall UK economy, and a new report produced on behalf of the Recruitment & Employment Confederation and Big 4 firm KPMG has found robust but slower growth in demand for permanent and temporary staff during October.

Markit’s Report on Jobs lists different indexes that have been adjusted for seasonal factors and calculated from the percentages of respondents reporting variation in recruitment and employee earnings.

Expansion in vacancies

The index for the construction sector's permanent workers fell from 64.7 to 62.8 through September/October, which indicates a sharp expansion in permanent vacancies.

The equivalent index for temporary workers also fell, this time dropping from 56.5 in September to hit 55.5, which is a 21-month low, still consistent with a distinct rate of expansion.

Short-term staff numbers employed in the construction sector continued at a rate below average for the wider UK economy average, at an index rating of 59.7.

Chronic skills shortage

Head of infrastructure, building and construction at KPMG, Richard Threlfall, said: “These latest figures point to a continuing shortage of labour, both permanent and temporary, in the construction sector."

“It is clear the industry is suffering from a chronic skills shortage along its entire supply chain, with recruiters struggling to meet demand for roles ranging from architects to construction workers. As a result, salaries in the sector are soaring, with the average weekly rise reaching 5.1%, vastly outpacing the private sector average of 3%," he added.

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