Labour Shortage: Less Talk More Action


Labour Shortage: Less Talk More Action

Skills Shortage

Rob Ford

In our previous blog, we discussed the solutions you could look at implementing in your business. This time we’ll be looking at what the Construction Industry is doing to help solve the problem long-term. Does your business have a plan in place to secure its future talent pipeline?

Rob Ford, Thorn Baker Construction Director

It’s no secret that the Construction industry is struggling across the board with a skill and staff shortage – we’ve all been talking about it for what seems like an age. In our last blog Labour Shortage: The Real Life Solutions for Your Business we talked about changes you could look at implementing in your business such as:

  • Focusing on why working for your company is great

  • Up your recruitment budget – it’s competitive out there

  • Work with an agency

  • Be flexible

  • Promote your business online

  • Invest in training

  • Look at your benefits package

But, these solutions really focus on attracting people who are already working in Construction. How do we attract new people into the industry?

The CITB Construction Skills Network forecast has said that the Construction has bounced back quicker than expected from the Covid-19 pandemic and the industry will reach 2019 levels of output in 2022. By 2025, the industry will need to recruit an additional 217,000 new workers just to meet demand.

To compete, thrive and grow in an ever-changing industry, new skills are essential, any business looking to compete for staff in this market must look at their long-term plans as well as the immediate issues. A successful apprenticeship scheme will be central to that.

CITB Policy Director Steve Radley said:

‘It’s great to see construction coming back so strongly and creating lots of job opportunities. We need to adopt new approaches to meet these growing skills needs and deliver these quickly. We are working closely with government and FE to build better bridges between FE and work and make apprenticeships more flexible. We are also making significant investments in supporting work experience that make it easier for employers to bring in new blood.’

Encouraging courses from a young age could help guide young people into construction careers via the apprenticeship route.

So, what is out there currently to attract people into apprenticeships as well as tapping into new talent pools?


CITB's Strategic Plan 2021-25 supports employers to bring people into work and provide the training they need. The Plan includes expanding work experiences, creating a new pathway from FE into apprenticeships and jobs, and boosting the numbers of apprentices completing their programmes.

Highlights from the Strategic Plan include:

  • Investing £110m to support apprentices and employers, on top of grant support, to increase overall numbers and completion rates

  • Support for 28,000 taster experiences and investment in Go-Construct to give people the chance to see the wide range of opportunities construction offers and how to access them

  • Using the Grants Scheme and other funding to help employers invest in training to first rebuild after the pandemic and then to modernise and raise productivity.

The Strategic Plan can be seen in full here

Want to find out more?

If you’re feeling inspired and would like to find out more about how your business could get involved? You can do that right here.

Women into Construction

Women into Construction is an independent not-for-profit organisation that promotes gender equality in construction.

They provide bespoke support to women wishing to work in the construction industry and assist contractors to recruit highly motivated, trained women, helping to reduce skills gaps and create a more gender-equal workforce.

They support workers and businesses with:

  • Bespoke Short Employment Programme

  • Seconded WiC Project Manager

  • Student Mentoring Programme

  • Sub-contract Entry to Employment Programme

  • Work Placements

With women making up half the population, it’s great to see the industry looking at tapping into this talent pool.

Want to find out more about how your business could get involved? Click here.


These are just some examples of initiatives that are focusing on a long-term solution for the staffing and skills shortage. Construction has the potential to offer real career opportunities for young people and women, whatever their background – we need to let them know what is available to them.

Future talent pipeline is something that we talk about a lot as a team, let us know your thoughts on what’s currently available around the skills shortage. Know of another great initiative? Let us know!