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The Engineering Construction Industry Training Board (ECITB) is urging all in-scope employers to get involved in its latest Census to help “build a better picture of future labour needs” in the industry.

The ECITB Workforce Census 2024 will launch in the spring. Data gathered from the Census, which is run every three years, will provide an up-to-date and detailed snapshot of the industry and its current workforce and will directly feed into the Labour Forecasting Tool (LFT) that was launched in November 2023.

The LFT provides insights into workforce numbers across regions and sectors up to 2035, predicting trends and potential future demand for workers.

The tool was created using insights from the 2021 Workforce Census and data from 1,500 active and future ECI projects. Among its initial findings, the LFT shows there could be a 28% increase in demand for workers in the industry by 2028.

ECITB Chief Executive Andrew Hockey stresses the importance of responding to the latest Census. He said: “Data from this Census will directly feed into updates to the Labour Forecasting Tool.

“This will enable us to build a much better picture of future labour needs to better inform decision-making and how we support the industry to address skills shortages.

“It will also strengthen our ability to represent the engineering construction industry with both national and local government.

“As the only workforce data set currently available that focuses exclusively on the engineering construction industry, the purpose of the Workforce Census is to find out how many people work in industry, in what occupations, and where they are geographically.

“Collecting more responses this year will help us further refine the LFT, allow us to make more features of the tool public and create more detailed data to predict trends or major workforce shifts.”

How to get involved in the ECITB Census

A working group from the ECITB’s Policy and Research Reference Group will be invited to voice thoughts on the questions, which will ask engineering construction industry (ECI) employers about workforce numbers, locations and roles as well as demographics, such as age and gender, and views on workforce growth and skills shortages.

The group, which is made up of employers, will also participate in a pilot.

Fifty percent of the ECITB’s in-scope employers responded to the Workforce Census 2021, representing 45,351 workers and 1,360 locations.

The last Workforce Census 2021 Report 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.

It revealed that over a third (38%) of the workforce was over 50 years old and only 14% under the age of 29. Over half (53%) of respondents answering questions on hiring reported that they faced recruitment difficulties, with engineers working in craft occupations the most challenging vacancies to fill.

The ECITB will be in touch with employers ahead of the Census and Account Managers will also be on hand during the three months of data collection to provide any help needed by employers.

If anyone would like to get involved in the Reference Group, email Head of Policy and Research Franziska von Blumenthal on or Research Manager Adrien Boyer-Fantini on

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