The UK construction industry is facing a labor shortage. There are 1.7 million vacancies in the industry. Here are some of the reasons why:


Quite recently, the country has voted to leave the European Union. This has caused many uncertainties for businesses, with many relocating elsewhere. The construction industry is no different, with firms putting investment and hiring plans on hold. The loss of EU workers will also impact, as they make up a significant proportion of the construction workforce.

Economic growth

The UK economy is currently growing at a slower rate than many of its European counterparts. This has led to less construction activity and, as a result, fewer job opportunities.

Lack of Interest

There has also been a decline in the number of people interested in working in the construction industry. This is due to the perception that it is a dirty, dangerous and low-paid sector.

Because of these reasons, it can be challenging to find willing people to work in the industry. But, thankfully, you have options to handle it. Here are some of the best ways to handle the labor shortage in the UK.

Best Ways to Handle the Labor Shortage

Diverse Skill Sets

With the construction labor shortage, you may have to get creative in your search for qualified workers. For example, consider looking for candidates with diverse skill sets who can perform multiple tasks. This will help you make the most of the workers you do have. Here are some ways that can help your firm seek applicants with diverse skill sets:

Job Boards

Many online job boards cater to specific industries. For the construction industry, some popular options include Constructify and Construction Jobs Board.

hiring process

Social Media

Social media can also find workers with the desired skill set. For example, Twitter can search for candidates using hashtags such as #constructionjobs or #civilengineering.


Referrals are another great way to find qualified candidates. Ask your current employees if they know anyone who would be a good fit for the open position. You can also offer a referral bonus to incentivize them.

Be Flexible

Again, with the shortage of construction workers, you may need to be flexible in your job descriptions. For example, instead of requiring five years of experience for a carpenter position, consider accepting candidates with three years of experience.

Robust Training Regimen

If you can’t find qualified candidates for open positions, consider training your existing employees to fill those roles. Not only will this help you meet your staffing needs in the short term, but it will also give your employees a sense of ownership over their positions and help them develop their skill sets.

Hire Recruitment Services

Recruitment services are excellent because you don’t have to waste your time finding suitable candidates. Here are the many benefits of hiring one.

Access to Skilled Workers

Skilled workers are hard to find in the industry. For example, there is a growing lack of engineers in the country. Thankfully, recruitment services can help with that. Hiring an engineering recruitment service can gain your firm access to a talented pool of skilled engineers. Additionally, the service can guide you through selecting the right candidate for your needs.

Collaborating with recruitment services can severely decrease the time you need to hire skilled workers in the industry.

Less Time-Consuming

The construction labor shortage has made it difficult for firms to find the right candidates promptly. This is where recruitment services come in handy. By using a recruitment service, you can avoid spending hours sifting through resumes and interviewing candidates who are not a good fit for the job.

Overseas Hiring

Sometimes, you may have to look outside the UK to find the construction workers you need. Hiring from overseas can be a great solution to your staffing woes. Not only will it give you access to a larger pool of candidates, but it can also help you save money on wages.

Hiring recruitment services to help you out is a worthwhile investment, especially in the current climate.

Give These Benefits!

If you want to gain more interest in your firm, especially from the younger generation, consider these options:

Increase Wages and Benefits

One way to attract workers to your construction business is by offering competitive wages and benefits. If you’re unsure what wage increase is necessary, consider conducting a market analysis to see what other businesses in your area offer similar positions.

Offer Perks and Bonuses

In addition to increasing wages, you can also offer perks and bonuses to incentivize workers to join your company. Some perks and bonuses include paid time off, company cars, and profit-sharing plans.

The construction labor shortage in the UK is a real problem that is affecting businesses all over the country. However, there are some things business owners can do to mitigate the effects of the shortage. By following the best practices above, you can help ensure that your construction business has the workers it needs to be successful.


About The Author

Scroll to Top