Civils contractors today warned that the UK’s infrastructure sector is being hampered by a lack of skilled workers and said that the number of firms reporting difficulties in labour supply has reached record highs.
Results from the Civil Engineering Contractors Association (CECA)’s Workload Trends Survey for the third quarter of 2022 found that while contractors experienced an eighth quarter of successive growth in workloads, 75 per cent of firms reported issues with the supply of skilled operatives, and 63 per cent with the supply of other operatives.
Commenting, CECA Chief Executive Alasdair Reisner said: “These statistics should act as a wake-up call not just to industry, but to the UK and devolved national governments.
“There has been a persistent skills gap in our industry for many years, but in the current economic climate the discrepancy between the skills level of the workforce, and the pipeline of projects we plan to deliver, has reached alarming proportions.
“It is the stated ambition of the UK, Scottish and Welsh Governments to drive economic growth through infrastructure delivery. But this ambition will only be achieved if the workforce is sufficiently skilled to meet this challenge.
“As an industry we are working with government at all levels to ensure new entrants and the existing workforce meet the correct skills requirements, and to put in place steps to attract more people into our sector.
“In the short term we continue to call for a sensible approach to managed migration, so that the companies can fill skills gaps needed to deliver the schemes British communities and businesses will rely upon in the coming years.”
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