13th February 2018

Supporting a more confident construction sector

With the very public collapse of industry giant, Carillion, the ongoing housing crisis, and uncertainty around the economic impact of Brexit – positive news for the construction sector has seemed few and far between recently.

However, a report released last week by the CITB (Construction Industry Training Board) is suggesting a more promising future. In the CITB’s Construction Skills Network UK report for 2018 – 2022, more than 150,000 jobs in the sector are forecast to be created over the next five years, with employment due to rise for the fourth year in a row in 2018.

The study predicts UK infrastructure will benefit from year-on-year growth of 3.1 per cent until 2022, and residential housing development to grow by more than two per cent annually.

Although, this is certainly good news, we still need to be cautious, as it doesn’t eliminate the fact that there is still a looming and worsening construction and infrastructure skills shortage – an issue which needs to be urgently addressed.

According to the Institute of Civil Engineers, 700,000 workers are set to retire before 2028, while the current number of people entering the sector is significantly less than that, which will result in a massive shortfall. At the same time, The Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors has just released a survey stating that the proportion of respondents reporting a lack of skilled construction workers is at the highest level since 2007.

The Government’s recent announcement of its £600 billion National Infrastructure and Construction Pipeline – as well as its commitment to build hundreds of thousands of new houses in England alone – will mean the next few years will be the busiest these industries have ever seen. This said, it is vital that addressing this skills gap is a priority for decision-makers within construction.

By raising awareness of the skills shortage and by taking steps to share knowledge and expertise on potential solutions, organisations can promote themselves as attractive workplaces, while actively safeguarding the wider sector’s future.

For example, our client Jewson partnered with Street League, the national charity which uses football to tackle youth unemployment. The charity also helps young people develop key employability skills, such as communication and teamwork, and acquire nationally-recognised qualifications. Some graduates from Street League actually went on to work for Jewson on a permanent basis.

As part of its ongoing commitment to social business Class Of Your Own (COYO), another of our clients, Topcon, has supported the launch of a teaching guide for COYO’s Design Engineer Construct! ® (DEC!) learning programme. The scheme is designed to create and inspire the next generation of built environment professionals through project-based learning.

At Tangerine, we help our clients become positive agents of change in their sectors, by inspiring great ideas and promoting the work they do to stakeholders across all relevant media channels.

Construction is the backbone of the UK, and we’re proud to support our clients – some of the biggest names in the industry – with their internal and external communications objectives. If you want to find out more about our expertise and the award-winning results we’ve achieved, email hello@tangerinecomms.com.

By Calum Metcalfe, Junior Account Manager