Skills shortage at “breaking point,” says new research

August 22, 2016 / Isla MacFarlane
Skills shortage at “breaking point,” says new research

One in ten contractors and suppliers say skills shortage is critically impacting budgets, according to Scape’s new ‘Sustainability in the Supply Chain’ report.

Nearly 85% of public sector construction managers, and 58% of private sector contractors and suppliers cite the current skills shortage as negatively impacting the quality of their workmanship, as well as one in 10 citing it as critically impacting their ability to keep to budget.

Scape Group’s new ‘Sustainability in the Supply Chain’ report, which surveyed over 150 contractors, subcontractors and senior managers at public sector organisations highlighted the stark realities of a skills shortage that’s at “breaking point”.

“Our research has shown that the skills shortage is at breaking point, not only severely impacting the quality of what we are building but also our ability to build it on budget,” said Mark Robinson, chief executive of the Scape Group.

Critically, the report highlights a profound juxtaposition between the public and private sector when it comes to how they define a healthy supply chain, and what their primary aims are. Within the public sector 70% of those surveyed felt that providing long-term benefits for the local economy should be one of the biggest priorities, compared to 58% within the private sector.

Similarly, 67% of those surveyed in the public sector believed that local skills and suppliers is the most important element, whereas those surveyed in the private sector saw operational stability and minimising waste as more important factors.

“This research offers important insight into the benefits of working collaboratively with local suppliers to create a long-term, sustainable supply chain,” said Peter Young, executive director of Building UK.

Rob Holt, managing director, Carillion Community Services, who operate the National Facilities Management framework, added, “To generate local employment, boost local economies and help us to engage with the communities in which we work, we’ve set tough targets to work with local suppliers in delivering work under the Scape National Facilities Management framework.”

Robinson concluded that while there is a mountain to climb, basic recommendations can be put in place to ease the burden. “For example, 19% of contractors and subcontractors still do not have an apprenticeship scheme,” he said.

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