Increase in construction job vacancies not necessarily good news, says One Way
Job figures rising to a four-month high in May isn’t necessarily good news for the construction industry, according to One Way.
An analysis by the company has found that the growth in the number of newly created jobs, outlined in the Markit/CIPS UK Construction Purchasing Managers’ Index, merely highlighted the worsening skills shortages that continue to impact the sector. This is made particularly concerning by the fact that rising job vacancies come at a time when industry output has slumped to a three-year low.
Managing director of One Way, Paul Payne, commented, “On paper a rise in job vacancies should be great news for us, but when you consider the bigger picture it only highlights the growing skills shortages that the industry faces. Job vacancies have risen because there simply aren’t enough professionals to meet the demand, and that’s at a time when output is at a three-year low. Imagine what the situation will be like when we get over the Brexit uncertainty and look to raise productivity once again.
“We’ve been banging the same drum for some time now, but something needs to be done before we hit a wall and projects have to be put on hold because of skills shortages. The issue is a ticking time bomb and unless something drastic is done soon, the industry could be in big trouble. That’s not to mention what could potentially happen if we were to leave the EU and talent pipelines from across Europe were affected. Obviously this is great news for current construction professionals who are likely to pick which projects they want to work on, and what they’ll be paid, but for the industry as a whole it’s a real worry.”
Commenting on the ONS Output in the Construction Industry stats, Doug Monro, co-founder of Adzuna, said, “The Brexit debate is shaking-up the construction industry. Many of our current construction workers come from the EU and overseas, meaning a Brexit could make it hard to find enough staff. Some investors are holding back from putting money behind building projects until they know if the Referendum could affect their plans.
“There are still large projects pencilled in to keep the UK busy. Turning ideas like HS2 into reality will require a large number of talented professionals. And on a smaller scale, the housebuilding boom will last for years to come. That means demand for builders, architects, project managers and other construction professionals is in no danger of falling anytime soon. Even before any Brexit, our latest data shows over 86,000 engineering vacancies, 11,000 property jobs and 51,000 construction positions are currently being advertised in the UK. That’s a huge number of jobs to be filled – and that can only be good news for construction workers in the UK.”