NEWS / Press Releases / Industry unites for largest ever poll on skills shortages


29 NOV 2018


Sector's views on skills sought as UK prepares to leave the EU

Companies from across the UK construction sector are being invited to take part in the largest ever research project on skills shortages

As the UK prepares for the departure from the EU next year, construction’s leading trade and professional bodies have joined forces to build a picture of those occupations that are in greatest demand.

The survey – which will go out to more than 20,000 companies nationwide - will ask respondents to indicate which roles they are finding it difficult to recruit now, and which they expect to be challenging post-Brexit.

The survey is supported by:

  • Association for Consultancy & Engineering (ACE)
  • Build UK
  • Chartered Institute of Building
  • Civil Engineering Contractors Association
  • Construction Plant-hire Association
  • Construction Products Association
  • Federation of Master Builders
  • Highways Term Maintenance Association
  • National Federation of Builders

In order to ensure that the survey has as wide reach as possible, companies that are not members are also invited to take part in the survey, which can be found here

The evidence uncovered from this survey will be used to identify where industry should be focusing its efforts to recruit new workers.

It will also be used to engage with the Government and Migration Advisory Committee to support decision-making on appropriate migration for workers from the EU and rest of the world.

Hannah Vickers, chief executive of the Association for Consultancy & Engineering said: “With all the uncertainty around Brexit and its impact on skills, we need to make sure that our industry has a sound evidence base from which to argue, which is why I will be asking all our members to participate in the survey. We will need to come together in one voice and collectively make the case for construction to Government, ensuring that any post-Brexit agreement secures the skills our sector needs now and into the future.”

Mark Reynolds, Mace chief executive and skills lead for the Construction Leadership Council, said: “We know that our sector will need to recruit hundreds of thousands of new workers over the coming years. We want to ensure that this recruitment is supported with targeted actions by industry and Government. This first step in achieving this is the development of a detailed picture of those occupations where we face the biggest challenge.

“I welcome the fact that the industry is unifying to develop this research, and encourage all companies from across the industry to take part in the survey”

Suzannah Nichol, chief executive at Build UK said: “We recognise that more needs to be done in recruiting, training and retaining the next generation of home grown talent to meet our industry’s skills needs. However, to deliver the homes, hospitals, roads and rail projects underway and those in the pipeline, the industry also must have the ability to continue to recruit skills at all levels from outside of the UK.  This is our opportunity to collectively demonstrate to Government the extent of those skills needs and create a system that works for everyone”.

Alasdair Reisner, chief executive at the Civil Engineering Contractors Association said: “Our members tell us that recruitment is probably their single biggest challenge. We can only overcome this by working together, targeting significant interventions based on high-quality industry data to ensure that we can recruit and train the next generation of construction workers”

Brian Berry, chief executive of the Federation of Master Builders said: “The Government’s current position on post-Brexit immigration would result in construction sites up and down the UK grinding to a halt due to a lack of workers. This consultation is the construction industry’s opportunity to demonstrate the extent of the skills shortage in key occupations that are essential to delivering the Government’s own housing targets and planned infrastructure projects. It is positive that the construction industry is coming together to work on this important piece of research.”

Richard Beresford, chief executive of the National Federation of Builders said: “Construction touches every part of our lives with numerous landmarks indelibly ingrained in the nation’s consciousness. With all the uncertainty over Brexit, this industry-wide survey will show starkly the extent of construction’s need for skills and where those skills are needed.”


James Ketchell

James Ketchell

Head of Communications

James leads communications at ACE and EIC. He also contributes to Infrastructure Intelligence.

email07904 276 249