Will Brexit Create A Skills Shortage Within The UK Construction Industry? (2017)

Brexit and skills shortages in the UK Construction Industry Dissertation – The United Kingdom’s recent decision to withdraw from the European Union and a renewed political commitment to invest in the nation’s infrastructure and housing stock, will further exacerbate the pre-existing skills shortage within the construction industry. To propose measures and focus areas to remedy this challenge in the future, an understanding of the current context around skills shortages, the reasons behind this recurring problem and the effectiveness of current methods in addressing this deficit, was investigated via secondary data sourced from the existing literature.

Primary research was then carried out to further understand these objectives and the views of experienced professionals. The primary data was sourced via semi-structured interviews, to gain in depth and valuable opinion, and recommendations on how to improve skills shortages in the future. The research findings suggest that absolutely, a severe skills shortage does exist, the industry needs to take more responsibility for remedying this issue and increased incentives are required to reduce the perceived risk of skills training to SMEs.

Furthermore, it was recognised that this problem was not solvable by the industry alone, and there must also be leadership from government to help overcome external factors which influence the industry’s image in wider society. The primary data also suggested a noticeable decline in the value placed upon vocational trades and training, due to the promotion of the university route above all others. These external factors had a significant responsibility for construction’s poor image in the view of those interviewed, perhaps more so than the internal reasons most typically cited for the industry’s image problem.

In summary, it was found that now is the time for meaningful action if the decline in skills is to be successfully impeded and industry workforce numbers are to be viable in the future.

Dissertation objectives

  • Understand the history of skills shortages and the primary causes
  • Understand the scale of the problem, the importance of EU labour and the potential enhanced effect Brexit may have on these numbers
  • Identify and understand currently proposed infrastructure and housing plans and if these plans are indeed possible given the short to medium term workforce situation faced
  • Identify areas of focus to address this deficit and understand the effectiveness of current measures to ultimately propose changes in current practice which could help to negate skills shortages and the potential additional impact of the EU referendum decision
  • 10,000 words – 38 pages in length
  • Good use of literature
  • Good analysis of subject area
  • Well written throughout
  • Ideal for construction management students

1 – Introduction
Dissertation structure

2 – Literature Review
The history of a recurrent problem
The accepted primary causes of skills shortages within the literature
European Union memberships impact upon Britain’s labour market
The scale of the problem
The UK’s projected housing and infrastructure plans
Addressing the deficit
Current government and industry strategy and its perceived effectiveness

3 – Research Design and Methodology
Aims of the research
Research methods
Rationale for the selection of interviews as research technique
Research analysis
The sample – the interviewees selected
Research limitations

4 – Discussion and Findings
Summary of findings

5 – Conclusions and Recommendations


Interview questions

Brexit and Skills Shortages in the UK Construction Industry Dissertation
Brexit and Skills Shortages in the UK Construction Industry Dissertation

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