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Construction firms struggling with skills gaps, study finds

Construction firms struggling with skills gaps, study finds

A new survey has found that the shortage of skilled construction workers is among the main concerns of building industry chiefs around the world.

The research, by KPMG, showed that half of construction project owners had experienced difficulties with skills gaps. It is just one of number of issues facing the heads of building firms around the world, from failing projects to problems meeting budget estimates, says the professional services group.

Richard Threlfall, head of infrastructure, building and construction at KPMG, said the survey showed the UK was not alone in suffering from skills shortages and identified apprenticeships as a possible solution.

He said: “This survey highlights the prevailing issues affecting the sector both in the UK and globally.

“We will only see a turnaround of poor performing contracts once we start seeing contractors and project owners adopt technology such as building information modelling (BIM) to enable more efficient planning, mandated apprenticeships to ensure skilled labour are bought up through the ranks, and more accurate planning of projects.”

There were budget problems for many in the survey after just 31% of projects the sample had worked on came within 10% of the original cost estimates. And 70% said they thought one of the main reasons for this lies in a failure to accurately plan for delays.

Just over 100 senior managers took part in the survey, which was carried out at the end of last year and mainly involved face-to-face interviews.