ECITB Workforce Census 2024

The Engineering Construction Industry Training Board (ECITB) conducts a Census every three years to provide an up-to-date and detailed snapshot of the engineering construction industry (ECI) and its current workforce.

The Census is our most accurate and comprehensive database, telling us how many people work in each sector, in which occupations and where.

We will run our latest Census during May and June 2024. The answers from this will update the database that was created during the 2021 Census.

Reports on the findings of the Workforce Census 2024, including sectoral and regional views, will be published from January 2025 and will be anonymised and aggregated.

Why is the Census important to industry?

 The ECITB Workforce Census 2024 will help us build a better picture of the industry.

Taking part ensures that companies and the industry’s sectors are accurately represented in the data we use to inform our labour market intelligence work. It will ensure the data which we use to forecast skills shortages is based on as accurate and complete a picture of the ECI as possible.

ECITB Workforce Census 2021 cover

ECITB Workforce Census 2021

The Census directly feeds into our Labour Forecasting Tool (LFT), which was launched in November 2023 and is based on data from the 2021 findings.

The LFT predicts trends and potential future demand for workers. It is used by industry stakeholders to better understand the challenges ahead, help define priorities and inform decision-making.

Collecting more responses this year will help us further refine the LFT for the benefit of the ECI and ensure that recent changes in the industry are taken into account to provide robust workforce forecast estimates.

Go to the survey now

Age spread of ECI workforce in 2021 ECITB Census

The age of the ECI workforce in 2021.

ECITB Workforce Census 2021

Our first Census in 2021 highlighted future labour shortages, given the industry’s ageing workforce and the recruitment difficulties facing many employers.

The key findings included:

  • Over a third (38%) of the workforce was over 50 and only 14% under the age of 29.
  • Over half (53%) of respondents reported they faced recruitment difficulties.
  • Demographic data showed 96% of respondents identified as white and 86% as men.

50% of in-scope employers responded to this first Census, representing 45,351 workers and 1,360 locations.

A question on recruitment from the 2021 ECITB Workforce Census

10 ways engineering construction companies filled their vacancies three years ago.

How the Census data has been used

The ECITB Workforce Census supports our Leading Industry Learning Strategy, which sets out our ambition to have a strong evidence base on which to act in addressing the current and future skills needs of industry.

Having up-to-date industry data is vital. It enables the ECITB to:

  • Respond to skills needs appropriately.
  • Be strategic in targeting skills development provision.
  • Represent the industry’s skills needs accurately in discussions with government, clients and other organisations.

The last ECITB Census supported discussions and collaborations with industrial clusters, training bodies, local enterprise partnerships in England, regional skills partnerships in Wales, the Scottish government, and other organisations such as CITB, ECIA, BCECA, and OEUK.

Examples of studies that have drawn on the ECITB’s Census data

How will the 2024 Census work?

 Industry feedback from 2021 has helped shape the 2024 Census. Changes include:

  • Fewer questions.
  • Introduction of an online survey method.
  • The possibility for employers to share anonymised files from their systems.

We are calling on employers to complete the online survey, which will be live from 13 May until 16 June

The questionnaire is divided into:

  • Occupational data: This asks employers how many people they employ, in which occupations, at which sites and in which sectors.
  • Demographics: This asks for aggregate data on age, gender, ethnicity, disability and nationality.
  • Three-year outlook: This section aims to understand the direction the industry is likely to take over the next three years. It includes questions on expected workforce growth, business opportunities by sector and hiring challenges.

How to get involved

Employers will receive a link to the online survey, where they can answer all the questions.

If you are an ECITB-registered employer, you will receive the link to the survey via your Relationship Manager. Non-registered employers can click the link below.

ECITB Relationship Managers  and our research team will be on hand to help answer any questions employers may have or to find workarounds if issues arise. To get in touch with the research team, email research@ecitb.org.uk 

Fill out the Census survey