Construction Faces Post-Covid Skills Shortage

The spread of Covid-19 has had a huge impact across many industries, and now the construction sector is facing challenges thanks to the deadly virus.

A report by Construction Week showed Covid-19 has made the already substantial problem of a skills shortage within the construction industry much worse.

As national lockdowns and restrictions have made it hard for people to train and construction projects have prioritised their more experienced staff when having to furlough employees, this has resulted in a drop in recruitment numbers.

According to Lancashire Business Review: “Construction has an ageing, male-dominated workforce and the industry has to work hard to encourage the next generation to gain the right skills to take their place.”

It noted it will have to “prove it’s welcoming for women”, as well as being an “interesting and valuable career choice”.

In addition to Covid-19, Brexit has helped cause this employment gap to widen, as there have been fewer foreign workers in the sector, including those with invaluable construction skills and a strong work ethic.

The publication suggests the sector invests in providing good-quality training for apprentices and less-experienced workers in order to “fill this employment gap”.

It is essential this is done, as the British population is continually rising and is even predicted to reach nearly 70 million by 2029. The Office for National Statistics (ONS) anticipates this number could exceed 72 million by 2041.

While this is a slowdown in the rate of growth from preceding years, it still demonstrates there is an urgent need for the construction industry to build enough houses, schools and offices for this increasing population.

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