Investment in infrastructure is a vital element of improving the UK’s productivity. With infrastructure output in the UK predicted to continue to grow, government and industry need to work together to ensure the right people with the right skills are available to deliver the ambitious pipeline of planned public and private investment to 2020 and beyond.
The National Infrastructure Plan for Skills presents an analysis of the skills landscape in the UK and sets out the key challenges faced by the industry to deliver the infrastructure pipeline. The findings show that:
With the growth in infrastructure investment, the pipeline creates a demand for over 250,000 construction and over 150,000 engineering construction workers by 2020, driving a need to recruit and train nearly 100,000 additional workers by the end of the decade.
The required skills blend to deliver the investment plans will change over time leading to a need to retrain and up-skill around 250,000 of the existing workforce over the next decade in addition to the need to recruit new workers.
A lack of detail on demand and supply – particularly within regions – coupled with fragmented approaches to skills planning and high levels of bespoke training limit the effectiveness and efficiency of labour market mobility. This makes it harder for skilled workers to move easily between sectors and projects, exacerbating key skills shortages for key projects and programmes.
Commercial Secretary to the Treasury Lord O’Neill said:
It is crucial we have the right people with the right skills in place to build and maintain our first-class infrastructure, essential to rebalancing our economy.
This report is just the first step in addressing how we can work with industry to ensure our workforce’s competitiveness for the future.
We’ll now develop a clear action plan, set to not only strengthen the economy by delivering our most ambitious projects from transport to energy, but improve the quality of citizen’s lives too.