According to a survey recently carried out by the Civil Engineering Contractors Association (CECA), there is a recruitment crisis that's really starting to escalate as we move into 2020. 

In the last quarter of 2019, a record-breaking number of British firms reported that they were having issues finding skilled worker, with a net amount of 52% reporting supply issues. This is the highest this statistic has been in nearly five years!

Contractors are calling for government intervention in the hope for better training programs and more qualified workers to fill the skills gap. The Chief Executive of the Civil Engineering Contractors Association, Alisdair Reisner expressed his concerns that;

"The pipeline of planned investment in the infrastructure sector is of a sufficient scale to be transformative to the whole UK economy, but unless the workforce is sufficiently skilled in all part of the UK, our members will be unable to deliver the work to its full potential".

Reisner believes that only co-operation between the industry and the government will lead to the creation of a comprehensive skills plan, a plan that's desperately needed if it's going to be possible to upskill the existing workforce and entice new workers to the trade. An 'infrastructure revolution' is what's required to protect the fate of the British economy in the coming years. 

How can you help to fill the skills shortage gap?

Civil engineering is only one of the many areas lacking in skilled workers in the UK today, there are so many different professions crying out for newly qualified workers - could that be you?

Here at Access Training Academies, we offer a range of courses that will set you up for a lucrative career in the construction industry! Select a trade below to see the courses we offer:

To read more about this story, click here. If you'd like to contact us about learning a new trade, give us a call on 0800 345 7492.

Earlier today, George Clarke, a TV personality best known for presenting Restoration man, and George Clarke’s Amazing places posted a tweet raising awareness of the critical skills shortage we are currently experiencing in the UK Construction Industry. 



To say that this tweet received some interesting reply s on how people thought the industry could change to help encourage more people into learning a skilled trade.

"The wage is shocking"

Some people responded by saying that the wages for skilled workers are poor, and that the wage needs to increase to encourage more people to train. This is a common misconception about skilled work. When you are a fully trained electrician, plumber or bricklayer, you could be earning up to £100,000 per year, well above the national average wage of £26,500.

"People are being encouraged to go to university instead of learning a trade"

Other people were voicing concerns over the fact that children are being encouraged to go to university instead of learning a practical trade. However, not everybody wants to attend university. Many people don’t like the idea of carrying on their education for an extra 3 or 4 years, to then leave with an extraordinary amount of debt and not have a guaranteed job at the end of it all.

By informing children that there are other routes to work, and well-paid work, we might add. Is a crucial step that needs to be taken to close the current skill gap. This will only happen if the education system and the construction industry come together to help educate the next generation. This is a topic we have written about in the past, and it is certainly an area leaders of the construction industry are keen to explore to see if more can be done to help raise awareness and educate children, not just at school leaving age, but throughout their time in education about the importance of skilled trade’s people. 

"You can't get stable work" 

This is another misconception about skilled trade work. Plumbers and Electricians, be it domestic or commercially trained, are always in demand. People are always going to need plumbers and electricians to help them out in an emergency, or need an electrician to wire a newly built house. To increase your chances of winning work over your competitors, you can easily expand your skill set so you can take on more specialist jobs, or a wider variety of work. 

Currently the industry is is crying out for more Plumbers, Electricians and bricklayers that the chance of you landing a contract shortly after you have completed your course, is incredibly high. Thus making this the perfect time to begin learning a trade. 

Here, at Access Training we offer a variety of courses for people who are looking to learn a trade. All of our courses are designed for the complete beginner, and will take you on a journey through to becoming a true industry expert. So if you are interested in becoming a Bricklayer, Electrician or a Plumber, don't hesitate to get in touch

Since the 2015 General Election, Britain has seen many changes in the way that the UK is run, and this year is no different. Yes, we are talking about the hot topic of the moment – the EU Referendum.

The EU referendum has turned in a rather controversial issue, with people from every industry having their say on whether Britain should stay or leave. This is because an EU exit will have profound effects on how Britain will conduct future business – especially in the construction industry. Reassuringly, a survey conducted by Smith and Williamson found that only 15% of construction company executives favoured leaving the European Union.

One of the major issues that leaving the EU would present to the construction industry concerns access to labour. Presently, the UK is experiencing a huge skills shortage across the construction industry, which means that we are relying heavily on foreign workers to come over and help fill the gap.

One of the fundamental values of the EU is free movement, which makes immigration around EU counties relatively easy and stress-free. If Britain exits the EU then emigration into the UK will become more difficult, discouraging skilled workers from entering the country and focusing on countries still within the EU.  On a positive note, there will be more jobs within the construction industry, but fewer people to fill them.

The EU is a trading union, which has helped break down barriers that make it difficult for companies to do business and invest in each other’s businesses. With the threat of a Brexit looming, multimillion-pound manufacturing giants have already expressed concerns about investing in an independent UK. One of the biggest advantages to being in the EU is that we are granted free trade between member nations. This makes it easier and cheaper for British companies to export their goods and - more importantly for the construction industry - building materials.

Even though the vast majority of construction companies are currently in favour of staying in the EU, it is important to look at the counter arguments of the 15% minority. For instance, the chairman of JCB plans to vote in favour of a Brexit because it “could cut the costs of bureaucracy so much that any additional costs of leaving the EU would be easily covered”. He also disagrees with the claims that it will make trade more difficult with other EU countries because “it is in everyone’s interests to trade openly and freely.”

It is hard to predict what knock-on effect a Brexit will have on the UK’s construction industry because no country has ever left the EU before. Over the coming months we are going to hear a lot of arguments to stay or leave, and possibly a lot of contradictory information about what will happen if we do decide to exit. At the end of the day, it is up to us as individuals to come to an educated decision as to whether we think it will be beneficial for the UK to stay or leave.

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According to the latest figures, the UK's construction workforce has shrunk by 12.9% since 2008. This is particularly strange due to the abundance of work currently available to contractors, which would suggest that the industry in busier than ever, with workers often having to turn down work because they already have an existing contract or promise of work with another employer. In spite of the surge in demand, however, the amount of workers in the industry fell dramatically last year, with 16,000 less people in the profession between 2014 and 2015.

Industry experts have put this dramatic fall in numbers down to a shirking talent pool, with people previously trained in the profession either retiring, in work, or having moved to other industries during a low period of work after the recession in 2009. Since the recovery in 2012 and 2013, those who remained in the profession managed to regain regular employment straight away, but they were not joined by a high number of new or returning workers. This means that firms can no longer rely on a once-abundant pool of talent to recruit from, which prevents them from expanding and in turn, presents a barrier for overall industry growth.

What the construction industry now needs is an surge of new talent from young people entering the industry, as well as those from a non-construction background who have decided to change their career. Before expansion and increased job security is possible, there must be enough skilled tradespeople to meet the demands of the industry, and to ensure a high calibre work force. At Access Training, we've helped countless individuals to gain the skills so desperately needed in the industry, allowing them to access a new and fruitful career path. From total beginners to ex service men and women, we have helped a diverse pool of candidates to reach their full potential and begin a successful career in construction.

Some of the courses we offer include:
and more!

Explore the rest of our site to see our full range of courses and lay the foundations for your future, as well that of the UK construction industry. For more information about our courses, get in touch with us today!

The first quarter of 2016 looks as if it will prove to be an exceptionally busy period for the UK's tradesmen and women. If you work in the construction industry, you may already have noticed a surge in demand since the start of the year, and there's every reason to believe that the need for competent, professional tradespeople will remain high for the forseeable future.

So why are tradespeople run off their feet at the moment?
  • Flood damage. If you switched on the TV over Christmas, you're probably aware of the flooding that affected certain parts of the UK recently. While the flood waters have now receded (at time of writing, no severe flood warnings are in place), people are still dealing with the aftermath; the floods caused a lot of damage, and the necessary repairs will reportedly cost billions of pounds. According to simplybusiness.co.uk, tradespeople from "right across the board" can expect "a busy first quarter", with homes throughout the UK requiring all sorts of different repairs. Structural damage, ruined electrical systems, rooms ravaged by flood waters...all of these things will need to be put right by experienced professionals.

  • Cold weather. Even in years without flooding, winter tends to be an especially busy time of year for the average tradesperson. Plumbers are kept particularly busy during the colder months, with low temperatures leading to burst pipes and other problems. Gas engineers are also in high demand - the weather has been abnormally cold of late, which means that Britain's boilers are working overtime right now!

  • A shortage of competent tradespeople. As we've mentioned previously, Britain is currently battling a major skills shortage - there simply aren't enough qualified tradespeople to go around. Supply is falling desperately short of demand, and this problem will only be exacerbated by the cold weather and the widespread flood damage.
Demand for qualified tradespeople is higher than ever right now; wages have skyrocketed, and many workers are actually turning jobs down because their schedules are so full. While this could be a big problem for Britain, it does mean that now is a great time to learn a trade and turn professional - whether you choose to become a plumber, a bricklayer, an electrician, or something else again, you're unlikely to have any problems finding work!

Would you like to retrain and become a professional tradesperson? If so, please contact Access Training Academies today - we'll help you to book your course and gain the qualifications you need to succeed!

Get in touch to learn more about our training courses!

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