The latest report from the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) has found that recruitment continues to be one of the biggest challenges facing the construction industry. The RICS report is based on a survey of the construction industry in the first quarter of 2017. It found that there was a net increase of 27% in the number of people reporting that they had more work.
This shows that the construction industry is still doing well with plenty of new orders coming in. Like the recent report from the CITB that we covered one of the biggest growth areas is predicted infrastructure projects, but private housing and private commercial developments have also seen an increase. Of all the areas surveyed the construction industry in London and the South East reported the highest levels of growth.
Blockers to construction industry growth
The RICS report found there were a number of factors holding back the construction industry. 70% of respondents reported that access to finance was an issue, while 61% of respondents cited planning and regulation as issues. Rounding out the top 3 issues for the construction industry was recruiting construction workers.
It is the usual construction trades and professions where recruitment is a particular problem such as recruiting bricklayers and surveyors. Interestingly though the RICS survey found that it is quality rather than quantity which is posing the biggest problem for construction recruiters.
Recruiting Quality Construction Workers
As well as providing statistics which show the overall opinion on the state of the construction industry the RICS it also gives us some of their raw responses. When asked about challenges with construction recruitment in London and the South East some of the responses were:
“The pending immigration controls due to Brexit will impact skills shortages”.
“Our main constraint is finding good quality candidates at sustainable salaries”
“Lack of essential trade skills”.
“Recruitment of quality Building Surveyors at reasonable cost continues to be problematic”
There were many other responses from around the country that followed a similar theme. The common problem is not simply recruiting anyone, it is getting the right people at rates that make sense in the long-term. For a short-term bricklaying contract it is possible to throw lots of money at the problem to get staff. For longer-term recruitment such as for surveyors this is not really sustainable. As lots of the respondents pointed out the only real way to solve ongoing construction recruitment issues is to train more people and to train them better.
RedRock Recruitment are a specialist construction recruitment agency working in London and the South East. We recruit across the construction industry from labourers and bricklayers up to surveyors and project managers. If you are struggling to recruit the people you need at sustainable prices we can help. Just give us a call on 01992 807911