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The Power of People in UK Construction

by Kate Perrin

Many believe this to be a pivotal moment in the future of UK construction. Demand is outstripping supply – both in terms of people as well as materials.

An ageing workforce due to retire, a lack of young people acquiring the specialist trades skills the industry needs and the impact of Brexit have created what many are calling a ‘perfect storm’ in terms of a skills shortage in UK construction. This coupled with how the industry responds to the Grenfell Tower tragedy and a radical shift in the way construction is done being accelerated by the pandemic means that we find ourselves on the precipice of transformation but currently without the people power to drive this through.

Organisations such as Build UK, the CIC, CLC, the NHIC and FIS (to name but a few) are leading the charge in raising awareness and proposing solutions to help the short-term labour shortages and the longer-term skills shortage, with the industry united to address these problems in as timely and sustainable way as possible.

Focusing on the power of people in UK construction, we have some phenomenal talent doing some extraordinary things.

However, construction has a reputation that it needs to combat: that the industry is old-fashioned and predominated by an older age group that is resistant to change. This age-old perception of the construction industry is starting to shift, but it is only through working in construction intelligence for the past 15 months that I have truly had my eyes opened to the talent, sheer will, determination and passion for change and transformation of many, many people and organisations (small and large) in UK construction. The industry knows it has to change, but more than that it wants to, and it is organising itself to do just that. There are more than just simply pockets of improvement and disruption. There are thousands of examples of projects, processes, organisations and people that are driving change.

As the market leader in construction intelligence, we are used to dealing with data. We track every single UK planning application of notable size from inception to completion of the project. But how we track them is using people: our local in-house construction intelligence experts who know and understand the intricacies of the built environment, are primed to ask the right probing questions and seek the detailed answers that helps us form a brilliantly accurate picture of exactly what is going on in every sector, region and market in UK construction. This looks like over 1 million calls every single year and over 100,000 hours of research. But it’s the people that we are connecting with every single day that we want to highlight in our new report ‘Kudos in Construction’.

We hope that by celebrating the many people in UK construction that are making specific and measurable improvements in ten key areas, we will help to play even a small role in shaking off the dusty and now undeserved reputation of the industry and attract young talent in targeting a career in an industry set for widespread disruption in the coming years.

This month, we’re giving Kudos to 9 amazing people who are supporting construction at all levels through heading up a variety of Associations.

Read the report

About the author

Picture of Kate Perrin

Kate Perrin

Group Marketing Director at Barbour ABI

Kate Perrin is the Group Marketing Director at Barbour ABI. She has enjoyed a 15+ year career in various B2B marketing leadership positions. Passionate about striving to achieve personalised experiences for every customer who engages with Barbour ABI group companies, Kate loves how advancements in martech are making this easier and better.

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