The Engineering Construction Industry Training Board (ECITB) has today launched its 2024 Workforce Census.

ECITB Workforce Census 2024

Employers are urged to fill out a survey over the next month to help provide an up-to-date and detailed snapshot of the engineering construction industry (ECI) and its current workforce.

Data gathered from the Census will enable the ECITB to respond to skills needs and to represent the ECI accurately in discussions with government and other stakeholders.

ECITB Workforce Census 2024

The ECITB has used feedback from the 2021 Census to improve and streamline the process for data collection.

Changes include the introduction of an online survey method for the first time, fewer questions and employers being able to share anonymised files from their HR systems, which will help to avoid having to fill in the data manually.

There is also a section which includes questions on expected workforce growth, business opportunities by sector and hiring challenges.

Employers will receive a link to the online survey, which will be live until 16 June 2024, with the findings published in a series of reports from January 2025 once the data has been analysed.

The results will be anonymised and broken down into sectors and regions, including the devolved nations, and will include data on:

  • Distribution of workers by sector and deployed locations
  • Occupations
  • Ethnicity
  • Gender
  • Age
  • Nationality
  • Workforce growth
  • Priority areas for growth, including net zero
  • Recruitment activities and challenges

Make sure your voices are heard

The data gathered will directly feed into the Labour Forecasting Tool (LFT) that was launched in November 2023 and created using insights from the 2021 Workforce Census and data from 1,500 active and future ECI projects.

The findings from this year’s Census will help the ECITB refine the tool to ensure the industry benefits as much as possible from its predictions on trends and future workforce demands.

ECITB Chief Executive Andrew Hockey said: “The Census is our most comprehensive workforce database.

“Collecting this type of detailed data gives not only the ECITB, but all our stakeholders, critical insights into the make-up and future direction of our industry and will allow for evidence-based, targeted initiatives and interventions.

“This work supports our Leading Industry Learning Strategy, which sets out our ambition to have the strong evidence base needed to address current skills shortages and prepare for future change.

“We recognise that the Census represents a significant effort for everyone involved and so we greatly appreciate ECI employers taking the time to fill out the online survey.

“Taking part ensures that ECI companies and their sector footprint are accurately represented in our labour market intelligence work.

“It is the database we use to support discussions and collaborations with government, industrial clusters, training bodies, local enterprise partnerships and other organisations, and helps stakeholders understand the industry to better inform decision-making.”

How much has the industry changed in three years?

The ECITB Workforce Census 2024 will showcase what has changed since the last time industry provided information on workforce numbers by occupation, sector and location.

As the only workforce data set currently available that focuses exclusively on the engineering construction industry, 2021 was the first time the ECITB had asked for such detailed data from employers.

Despite not knowing the value and benefits of collecting the data, 50% of the ECITB’s in-scope employers responded to the Workforce Census 2021, with data collected on more than 45,000 workers in the industry, and the ECITB is keen to get an even greater number of returns this year.

The findings in 2021 highlighted the recovery of ECI workforce numbers following the Covid pandemic. It also warned of future labour shortages, given the industry’s ageing workforce and the recruitment difficulties facing many employers.

The age of the ECI workforce in 2021.

The age of the ECI workforce in 2021.

To find out more about the Workforce Census 2024 and how to have your say, visit the Census homepage at www.ecitb.org.uk/ecitb-workforce-census-2024

Read the ECITB Workforce Census 2021

Labour Forecasting Tool overview