Skills shortages are wrecking the quality of workmanship on construction projects, says a supply chain survey undertaken by Scape Group (see also report by Construction Enquirer).
Earlier this summer, Scape surveyed over 150 senior managers at public sector organisations across local and central government, along with a range of suppliers and subcontractors delivering built environment services. These included contractors who provide construction and civil engineering services, consultancies who support the public sector and facilities management providers. This survey sought the opinion of tiers 1, 2 and 3 of the public sector supply chain. Scape asked questions about the tendering process and bid opportunities, the stability of the supply chain, supply chain management, the skills shortage and an investigation into the sector’s reliance on public projects.
The resulting Sustainability in the Supply Chain report (available here) found 58% of contractors and suppliers cited shortages as negatively impacting the quality of their workmanship. The problem is worse in the public sector with 85% of managers seeing the quality of their built environment projects negatively affected by skills shortages.
Lack of labour is also busting budgets with 80% of public sector respondents and just under 40% of contractors and consultants blaming skills shortages for cost rises.
Mark Robinson, Scape Group Chief Executive, said:
“Our research has shown that the skills shortage is at breaking point, not only severely impacting the quality of what we are building but also our ability to build it on budget. While there is a mountain to climb to overcome this challenge, basic recommendations can be put in place to ease the burden, for example, 19% of contractors and subcontractors still do not have an apprenticeship scheme.”