Construction Industry Skills: The Impact of a New Labour Government

The UK construction industry is at a pivotal moment. The appointment of the new Labour government brings significant changes that could reshape the landscape of skills and employment in the built environment sector. To secure our industry’s future and effectively address staffing shortages, understanding these changes and their potential impacts is crucial.

The Current Climate on Skills in the Construction Industry

The construction industry has been grappling with a severe skills shortage for years. The pandemic exacerbated this issue, with the workforce now only 90% of its pre-pandemic size. [1] This shortage drives up wages, threatening the viability and affordability of projects. The BCIS reports long-standing concerns about fulfilling skill requirements, with firms often facing delays in replacing departing staff, leading to a decline in total employment numbers. This ongoing crisis has a significant impact on project timelines and costs, highlighting the urgent need for strategic intervention.

An Overview of Skills Related Policy Changes

Labour’s manifesto includes several pledges aimed at addressing the skills gap in the construction industry. Key among these is the creation of “Skills UK,” a new body tasked with cultivating a wider skills base. This initiative is a positive step towards addressing the skills gap in the built environment sector.

Additionally, Labour proposes introducing a Growth and Skills Levy [2] to replace the current Apprenticeship Levy. This new levy aims to ensure that qualifications offer value for money and align more closely with industry needs. For the construction industry, these changes could bring much-needed relief by fostering a more skilled workforce. However, the success of these initiatives will depend on effective implementation and industry collaboration.

How Might the Industry Be Affected if the Skills Crisis Persists?

Should the skills crisis continue without significant improvement, the construction industry could face dire consequences. Prolonged shortages could lead to further delays in project completion, increased costs, and reduced competitiveness.

The sector’s ability to meet the demands of a growing population and evolving infrastructure needs would be severely hampered. This scenario underscores the importance of Labour’s proposed policies and the urgent need for effective solutions to bridge the skills gap.

Preparing for the Future

Addressing the skills shortage in the construction industry requires a multifaceted approach. Schools, colleges, and contractors must collaborate to make careers in construction more appealing. Initiatives to promote construction careers at the educational level are essential. This could include integrating construction-related subjects into the curriculum, offering apprenticeships, and providing clear career pathways.

Further support from the government, industry bodies, and educational institutions is crucial. Creating more opportunities for training and upskilling, improving working conditions, and highlighting the diverse career prospects within the construction sector can attract new talent.

How to Find the Best Talent in the Construction Industry

In the face of a severe skills shortage and pressing project timelines, a strategic approach to recruitment is essential. Contractors often lack the time and resources to conduct extensive recruitment drives. This is where platforms like Strategic Resourcing can help.

Strategic Resourcing leverages a national network of construction-specialist recruitment companies to help organisations bridge the skills gap. The platform ensures users benefit from quality over quantity, presenting the best talent from fewer applications, thus streamlining the recruitment process and ensuring that only the most suitable candidates are considered.

By drawing on the expertise of seasoned recruitment professionals, Strategic Resourcing helps contractors find the skilled workers they need quickly and efficiently. This strategic approach to recruitment is a necessary adaptation to the current market conditions to discover the best qualified candidates and improving retention as a result.


The new Labour government’s focus on addressing the skills gap through initiatives like Skills UK and the Growth and Skills Levy represents a hopeful shift for the construction industry.

For construction firms, adapting to these changes means investing in strategic recruitment and fostering partnerships with educational institutions. Platforms like Strategic Resourcing provide the tools necessary to recruit multiple candidates efficiently and effectively, helping to secure the skilled workforce needed to drive the industry forward.

In this time of transition, proactive engagement with these new policies and strategic recruitment practices will be key to overcoming the skills crisis and ensuring the construction industry’s future growth and success.





Share the Post: