A group of construction bodies has joined forces to call for 18 severe shortage roles in the industry to be added to the government’s Shortage Occupation list.
Nine federations and representative bodies are working together to accelerate recruitment for the roles after research among the members of each organisation identified which are the hardest to recruit for.
The roles are:
- Acoustic engineers
- Ceiling fixers
- Chartered surveyors
- Civil engineers
- Construction and building trades supervisors
- Construction project managers
- Design engineers
- Dry liners
- General labourers
- Mechanical and electrical engineers
- Plant and machine operatives
- Production managers and directors
- Quantity surveyors
- Structural engineers
The organisations involved in identifying the roles are: Association for Consultancy & Engineering, Build UK, Civil Engineering Contractors Association (CECA), Construction Plant-hire Association, Construction Products Association, Federation of Master Builders, Highways Term Maintenance Association, National Federation of Builders and the Chartered Institute of Building (CIOB).
They have recommended that wherever possible steps should be taken to recruit for the roles in the UK, bringing in new workers or upskilling the existing workforce.
However, where this is not possible, they want to see them added to the Shortage Occupation list, which would allow them the be prioritised in future migration from the rest of the world.
Patrick Cusworth, head of policy and public affairs at the CIOB, said: “We recognise that the construction industry in the UK needs to be more ambitious in terms of recruiting, training and developing more people than it currently does.
“However, research has shown that in the short-to-medium term the industry needs to be able to continue to access migrant labour in a number of key professions such as construction and project management and a number of site-based roles.
“If we are to deliver ambitious housing and infrastructure targets and deliver the quality and high standards people expect, then we must ensure that we have the flexibility in place to recruit to these roles, while at the same time taking a longer view on recruitment and retention in the UK construction industry.”
CECA chief executive Alasdair Reisner said: “Speaking to companies from across UK construction we have identified some key roles where recruitment is already very difficult, or where it will become so once migration from the EU is reduced post-Brexit.
“We believe that it is crucial that we work together, as an industry and with Government to target these shortage occupations, boosting recruitment and training in the UK, while looking to sensible migration from the rest of the world to meet additional demand.”
And Suzannah Nichol MBE, chief executive at Build UK, said: “Construction projects across the UK are being held back by a shortage of suitable skills. This survey provides vital evidence of the specific roles which must now be considered by the Government for inclusion on the Shortage Occupation list ensuring that we can keep Britain building.”