Skilled construction workers ‘in high demand’

Construction specialists have become the most highly sought-after workers in the UK employment market, according to new research.

a108-00470During the month of July, the latest Report on Jobs from the Recruitment and Employment Confederation (REC) and KPMG shows that construction workers were the most in-demand employees, for both permanent and temporary roles.

Engineering workers were the second most sought-after permanent job candidates, the report’s authors found.

Over the course of last month, the study said the overall number of people placed in permanent and temporary jobs by recruitment consultancies improved. The pace of expansion hit a five-month high in terms of permanent positions, while the temporary jobs increase reached a seven-month record.

The REC and KPMG reported that employers created new roles at the quickest pace since the beginning of the year.

However, the research suggests that skill shortages could pose problems for the likes of construction firms in the weeks to come.

It said July saw another drop in the availability of permanent staff members. The scale of this decline was the steepest seen in the history of the Report on Jobs.

With employers facing a mismatch between the number of jobs on offer and the availability of candidates, starting salaries are beginning to rise. Average wage levels have risen markedly in both the permanent and temporary employment sectors in recent weeks, the survey revealed.

REC chief executive Kevin Green said employee skills and training are becoming increasingly important.

He welcomed the fact that the employment market is going from strength to strength.”

But the expert added: “The UK’s post-recession problem is skill and talent shortages. The economy is going to be constrained by this ongoing talent crisis if employers keep doing business as usual.

“Hirers need to take on more young people and train and develop their employees like never before.”

By taking the time to invest in the development of the UK workforce, companies can attract talented staff members and retain them, Mr Green said.

Addressing the growing demand for construction workers, he said the industry appears to be emerging from the economic downturn.

But he warned: “Without more people skilled, available and willing to take jobs as site managers, joiners and electricians, we can’t build the new homes and infrastructure that this country desperately needs.”





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