Impact of Skilled Labour Shortages on SMEs Operating Within the UK Construction Industry

Skilled Labour Shortages in UK Construction – The skilled labour shortage that is currently affecting labour supplies in UK construction poses a strong risk to Small and Medium Enterprises working in industry today. Research conducted suggests solving this skills gap should primarily come from encouraging young people to enter careers in the industry, however due to several reasons such as the industry public image, construction work isn’t seen as desirable by most young people.

Greater measures should be taken by educators to properly inform young people of the realities of modern construction work, and construction technology, as well as the benefits of acquiring an apprenticeship, in order to encourage them to pursue a career in the construction industry. Research conducted in this dissertation found SMEs expose themselves to significant risk when employing young apprentices as they are less experienced, and often less disciplined. In order to mitigate some of the risk, and make apprentice workers more desirable the UK Government should offer financial support to SMEs who employ and train apprentice workers, in order to increase supply of them in the industry.

Modernisation of construction work has many benefits including improved public image and increased productivity however, due to the individualistic nature of construction projects automated processes on site are not an appropriate solution to the labour shortage with current technology. Automation of process involved in design and administration however can increase work rates. Utilisation of BIM technology in construction projects allows for more information to be saved in the drawings that can easily be transferred throughout members of the design/construction team. Greater ease with which drawings can be understood by those onsite will lead to a reduction in downtime on site, and streamlined construction times allowing more resources to be attributed to labour.

The aim of this dissertation is to research and develop strategies for overcoming the labour shortage that stand to benefit SMEs operating in the UK. It is hoped the recommendations proposed in this dissertation aid in supporting SMEs dealing with effects of the labour shortage, and provide a basis from which further research can be conducted.

Dissertation objectives

  • Evaluate the reasons for the labour shortage
  • Review current proposals for dealing with the skills shortage
  • Develop recommendations for SMEs

  • 10,000 words – 30 pages in length
  • Excellent use of lterature
  • Good analysis of subject area
  • Well written throughout
  • Includes interview transcript
  • Ideal for construction management students

1 – Introduction
Rationale for Study
Aims and Objectives
Structure of this Dissertation

2 – Literature Review
The Importance of Skilled Labour to the Construction Industry
The Varieties of Labour in the Construction Force
The Scale of SMEs in the UK Construction Industry
The Current State of Labour in the UK Construction Industry
The CIOB Shortage Occupation Survey
Proposed Reasons for the Skilled Labour Shortage
Future Prospects of Labour in UK Construction
Proposed Action to Combat the Shortage

3 – Research Methodology
SME Owner Interview
Format of the Interview

4 – Research Results
Results of Interview Establishment
Evaluation of Current Recommendations
Discussion of Suggested Recommendations

5 – Discussion of Results

6 – Recommendations for Assisting SMEs


Results of the CIOB Survey
Transcript of the Research Interview

Skilled Labour Shortages in UK Construction
Skilled Labour Shortages in UK Construction

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