A Skills Gap Or Just a Lack of Communication?

Aaron Vousden

Aaron Vousden

Civil Engineer

The construction industry has been hitting the headlines for many reasons… big delays on projects (Crossrail, HS2.. the list goes on), overspending, liquidation of huge government backed companies and the lack of skilled personnel available to deliver the UK’s pipeline of projects.

The construction industry will represent one of the largest shifts in employment second only to information technology over the next 5 years.
To optimise and improve productivity we need to fully engage, communicate and understand the skills flowing into the sector and harness this to provide an efficient shift.
performance of broad sectors of the economy

Government and industry reports on delays and overspending have pinpointed poor communication as a major player in the overall issue. So, the question poised;

Are all these reports about the “skills gap” in the industry the result of poor communication and understanding of our workforces’ skills, competencies and experience? Do we really fully understand who we employ and what talent there is across the industry? The other question is — do we WANT to know or is that word ‘change’ the we’re scared of effecting the decisions being made at executive levels?

There are a number of blockers which all very much rely on effective use of systems, inputs and of course that word again — ‘communication’ — this list is un-exhausted but as a start, attacking the following could bring around some huge change; lack of knowledge or verification of our workforce’s experience and expertise, multiple training schemes and accreditations from a wide range of companies make it hard to track, poor transparency internally across companies and externally across the industry.

There are many in the industry driving change. There are also those happy to stick with the same processes; this inhibits construction from progressing technologically at the rate seen in many other industries. We don’t need to completely reinvent, small change and a drive on digitalisation will bring about huge impact on efficiency, productivity and overall progression.

Steps to unlock the full potential of our workforce:

  1. Realise and keep track of skills, competencies and training.
  2. Know their working history; the projects they have worked on and experience they have gained.
  3. Reward expertise with opportunity and target areas of improvement

Let’s get to ‘Know Our People’ a lot better.

Working alongside international construction companies we’re striving to unlock the full potential of our workforce and connect our industry.


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