The construction industry, quite literally, has had its ups and downs. With the recession back in 2008, the number of jobs within the industry rapidly declined causing graduates and construction-veterans alike to look for work elsewhere. The result – the skills gap’.
It is currently unclear how close we are to actually resolving the looming issue. For instance, there is lots of evidence to suggest that the talent pool is ever shrinking as the skill gap continues to widen.
Recent employment figures are slightly concerning. The number of unemployed people whose previous role was within the construction industry has declined dramatically since the downturn and are in fact almost at the levels around 2007, according to the Office of National Statistics data.
Yet still, the government as an attempt to close this gap is implementing a number of methods, which not only seem perfectly viable options but could also improve the reputation of the industry as a whole.
Therefore, it is fairly difficult to see just how far along we are in terms of solving the matter.
The interesting thing however, is that with the uncertainty of how far along we are to solving the issue, another problem, though a happy problem for construction professionals, has been created in the process.
White-collar construction workers have seen salary rises similar (in terms of percentages) to finance professionals working in the city. Not only are salaries for those working in the industry seeing a considerable rise, but the bonuses are going through the roof too. The more significant workers within the industry, project managers, quantity surveyors, are being offered bonus payments worth up to 100% of their salary.
In a nutshell, white-collar construction professionals are now competing financially with bankers.
It makes sense. With government plans to invest more than £100bn in infrastructure there seems to be an endless amount of jobs to go round, but simply not enough skilled professionals to fill these roles. This means that the skills of the industry workers that have chosen to remain in the industry are so much more valued.
Statistics show that quantity surveyors, estimators and project managers seem to be reaping the benefits. In London particularly, salaries for quantity surveyors have risen as high as 15 to 20 percent.
The demand for estimators has also grown substantially. As the quantity of projects has increased so much, the significance of estimators within the industry has done so as well.
Project managers are also in demand due to the significant amount of towers, which are looking to be built in London. This means that yet again, experienced professionals are needed, skills are valued more and salaries and bonuses are increased.
With this said, the situation is even more intriguing once you realise that the skills-gap has had a separate knock-on effect on each area of the industry.
Even though the construction professionals that decided to stay in the industry are extremely comfortable now, it is important that we promote the industry to the potential new generation of construction professionals.
Have you experienced the increase in salaries? Let us know your thoughts by leaving a comment below.
Written by Project Resource