A new study considers the construction sector conundrum; why are there shortages of workers in a sector that offers so much? This industry engages many self-employed people, and large numbers of temporary workers so we were keen to find out more. According to the Institute of Employment Studies (IES), construction offers workers stability and security, generous pay, progression and learning opportunities and variety in terms of roles and work environments. Yet this industry which plays such a key role in the economy suffers from a poor reputation, has recruitment difficulties and skills shortages, and lacks workforce diversity.
There is a lack of real understanding and accurate knowledge of working within construction – of the entry requirements, availability of jobs, progression opportunities offered, and how to access work experience. And there are firmly rooted and largely negative perceptions of the construction industry – physically demanding, involving working outside, manual work, and masculine. Those working in construction perceive other industries as being difficult to get into, and as hierarchical, underpaid, stressful and boring.
Factors that could encourage outsiders to consider construction are the pay and progression offered, if they were given better information about the industry (its jobs and careers, working conditions and entry requirements), and if the perceived macho culture changed.
You can read the full report here.