Boosting Routes into Industry Report: 2024 Findings

The recent Boosting Routes into Industry Report by NOCN and CCATF highlights vital steps to enhance talent flow in construction. This sector, crucial for infrastructure and housing, contributes over £216 billion annually to the UK economy and employs 8.8% of its workforce.

In the construction and built environment sector, discussions are underway on how to sustainably maintain and develop a skilled workforce capable of driving the UK towards a Net Zero economy. This involves ensuring compliance with the Building Safety Act across all levels of expertise, from trades to managerial roles. The Boosting Routes into Industry report targets key stakeholders responsible for shaping entry routes into the industry. These include industry bodies like the Construction Leadership Council, the CSCS card scheme, ITBs, various levels of government, regional authorities, local bodies, and Trade Unions.

Report Findings

Four key challenges must be addressed by 2030:

  • Address a significant shortage of around 250,000 skilled workers by 2027.
  • Up-skill the workforce. This is imperative to boost productivity through digitisation and new working practices.
  • Support the construction of sustainable infrastructure aligning with the UK’s Net-Zero goals.
  • Ensure compliance with safety regulations, including those set by the Building Safety Regulator.

The study, supported by the CLC, surveyed employers and analysed government datasets and CSCS card schemes. Key findings include the essential role of existing vocational routes and challenges in ensuring full competency. Notably, there’s been a decline in skills funding over the past decade.

A Focus on Reform

Additionally, the report highlights the need for reform in four main areas:

  • Maintain and enhance existing entry routes such as apprenticeships and vocational qualifications.
  • Establish a consistent UK-wide skills system, adaptable to regional and sectoral nuances.
  • Develop the CSCS scheme to align with safety regulations.
  • Enhance recruitment strategies, particularly focusing on diversity and inclusion.

Final thoughts

Nick Roberts, Industry Sponsor for People and Skills at the Construction Leadership Council, emphasises the significance of collaborative efforts. He acknowledges the skills gap challenge in construction and emphasises the importance of working together to attract, develop, and retain a competent workforce capable of meeting future demands.

“Construction plays an important role in the UK economy, but we all recognise the scale of the widening skills gap challenge in the industry. There is a huge opportunity if we get this right, so we welcome this report which makes an important contribution to the future workforce debate. It provides great insight from employers in the sector into how we can overcome the skills challenges we face by working more collaboratively with each other and with Government, and ensuring that we attract, develop and retain competent and productive people who have the skills needed to deliver on net zero, retrofit our buildings, look after our rich built heritage, and create a built environment that we can all be proud of.”

Enhancing entry routes into the industry enables individuals at all levels to contribute effectively to sustainable construction practices. This collaborative effort is essential for securing the industry’s long-term success.

Read the full report here: