Labour Market Outlook
New research into the engineering construction labour market carried out by Pye Tait Consulting on behalf of the ECITB has revealed the challenges facing employers in this vital sector of the UK economy.
Key findings from industry employers:
- One-third of employers (35%) expect to grow their workforce over the next three years, while only 5% expect it to reduce in size.
- Employers believe the skills gap will stay the same (43%) or get worse (44%) over the next three years.
- More than half of employers (55%) see the ageing and retiring workforce as the main reason for the skills gap. The research shows that 31% of employees are over 50, but only 12% are under 25.
- Women are hugely underrepresented in engineering construction, comprising just 12.5% of the workforce.
- Employers said they found it difficult to recruit because applicants lack the required skills and experience (81%) or don’t have the right qualifications for many industry roles (54%).
- Employers also highlighted a competitive market for skilled engineers, with 62% fearing losing recruits to competitors paying higher salaries. This points to ongoing pressures facing many firms to contain labour costs amid fine operating margins. The research found that 61% of apprentices earn less than £15k and 43% of graduates earn between £21 and £25k.
- Just under a third of employers (29%) felt restrictions on freedom of movement after Brexit would make recruitment more difficult, but there was regional variance – 40% of employers in London felt Brexit would make recruitment harder, but 66% of employers in Wales felt Br exit would have no impact on their recruitment.
The report is available to download in full here: