Skills in the construction industry
In very general terms, skills are attributes and competencies used by individuals to perform tasks and activities. In the context of work, these can be referred to as ‘job skills’, or more generally in the context of construction, ‘construction skills’.
As construction is a broad and wide-ranging industry, there are an enormous variety of different skills, both physical and mental, required of those who work within it. Specific construction skills can include; bricklaying, carpentry, concreting, plumbing, electrical and so on. In addition to the practical skills needed to perform these particular trades, site workers require physical skills such as strength and dexterity, as well as being skilled in terms of avoiding injury and hazards.
The Construction Skills Certification Scheme (CSCS) is a card certification scheme for construction workers. The cards certify that the holder has the appropriate training, experience and qualifications for their work (in particular in relation to health and safety). Many contractors require that site workers hold a valid CSCS card. Checks may be made before allowing workers entry to a construction site, and if they do not have the appropriate card for their work, they are not allowed access.
One of the main ways in which young school-leavers can develop construction skills is through apprenticeships. Apprenticeships are a form of training designed with employers that combine practical work in a job and studying. Apprenticeships can help apprentices develop experience, gain job-specific skills and obtain a formal qualification whilst at the same time earning a wage. For more information, see Construction apprenticeships.
There is currently considerable concern that the UK faces a construction skills shortage caused by an ageing workforce, a lack of apprenticeships, the poor image of the industry amongst school leavers and the return to economic growth after the credit crunch. According to CITB, more than 182,000 construction jobs will need to be created in the next few years.
Many construction workers are retiring, and the rate of retirement looks set to increase as 22% of the workforce are over 50, and 15% are in their 60s. The problem is exacerbated by the lack of young people entering the industry - only about 10% of those working in construction are aged between 19 and 24, with just 1-2% aged between 16 and 18.
- A 10 point plan to overcome the construction and infrastructure skills gap
- Achieving carbon targets and bridging the skills gap.
- Apprenticeships levy.
- Architectural training.
- Boardroom to building site skills gap survey
- Building Skills for Offsite Construction
- Civil engineering soft and digital skills.
- Construction Industry Training Board CITB.
- Construction recruitment agency.
- Construction skills crisis threatens UK net zero goals.
- Construction skills shortage still stifling growth
- Eight ways to win the fight for talent in construction.
- Five transferable skills important to civil engineering.
- Industry placement CSCS card to help learners into construction.
- Industry Skills Plan 2021-2025.
- Interview with Carol Lynch, CYT.
- National Infrastructure Plan for Skills.
- National vocational qualification.
- Negotiating skills for conservation professionals.
- Payments for recruiting new apprentices.
- Perkins review of engineering skills
- Protection for apprenticeships.
- Q2 2021 trends indicate higher costs, lower employment.
- Queen's Speech 2021.
- Skills shortage and Brexit
- Skills shortages lead to wages rise
- Skills to build
- Recruiting and retaining talent in the construction industry.
- To attract the right talent, offering flexibility and work-life balance will be essential.
- Wet trades.
Diversity, social value and skills
 Are you looking for..?
- Work Opportunities (from work experience to jobs)
- Activities & Events
- Ask a Person
- Search Organisations (careers support specific to diverse groups)
 Join in
Have you got useful material to share?
If it is relevant to the Built Environment and to diversity, skills and social value, then help people to find it by adding details to this People microsite and using the guidelines below.
 Add your own content
- For guidance about writing and adding your own content see Get started - top tips and help.
- Some articles are more popular and useful than others. This article explains more.
- Make sure you use the right title as this helps search engines find it. See here for guidance.
- Add your signature to link readers to your profile.
- Tick the 'People' box when you submit the article - that way your content will appear in this Building People microsite.
- Finding it tricky? Contact us for assistance.