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60% of UK land surveyors say a lack of individuals with professional skills is limiting their project activity

Welcome to the fourth and final instalment of our ‘off the tools’ series, where we’ll explore the current talent gap in project management and how it’s affecting the growth of the construction industry.

Updated on: 10th October 2019

Project management is not and never will be linked to any one single sector, however the demand and natural requirement for project management professionals in construction is at an all-time high. 

According to the most recent figures from ONS (Office of National Statistics), employment in the construction industry has experienced a steady increase since 2014, which has continued in 2017, with construction employment increasing by 3.8% compared with 2016, now equating to approximately 1.32 million.

This good news, however, also comes with its own issues.  According to EY analysis, the East of England is facing the biggest project management skills deficit in the UK, with the amount of skilled worked available just not being enough to fill the positions. The South West of England follows this with almost just as much demand.

Learning People | Construction worker on site

So, how does this shortage actually affect the construction output?

Put simply, a project manager is the all-important link between stakeholders and construction workers. Their focus of responsibility lies with ensuring that everyone has exactly what they need to complete the tasks necessary to then successfully deliver the project on time and on budget. Without this ‘link’ it’s as though the head cannot talk to its hands and manage the key challenges as follows:

  • SCOPE: Should a project suffer from undefined goals the scope organically changes, which in turn results in time delays and budgets being exceeded. With a project manager firmly in place, any changes to schedule and or budget can immediately be communicated and avoided.
  • RISK MANAGEMENT: Alongside and intrinsically linked to the project’s scope is risk management.  Part of the project manager’s role is to identify any potential problems and find ways to mitigate them. Without this crucial input, the project will always go over time and budget.
  • COMMUNICATION: Poor communication will be the death of any relationship (and certainly any project). Without vital updates and feedback continuing to find their way both up and down the chain, any seemingly small issues and or challenges will automatically fester and grow to a disastrous scale.  

The construction industry plays a key role within the British economy, generating £90 billion annually (representing 6.7% of UK GDP).  Despite this, employers in the construction industry are still struggling to fill positions because there is a lack of potentials with the right experience, skills and certifications. 

Learning People | Construction site

How can Learning People reduce the skills gap?

Learning People specialise in job ready career development and have done so for 10 years.  We painstakingly hand pick all of our training programmes and associated awarding bodies purely down to their industry relevance and employability.  So, whether you’re already leading a team, or at the early stages of getting off the tools, a tried and tested (and tangible) pathway is already mapped out to ensure the required career boost. 

If you are new to project management, you’ll need to achieve the PRINCE2 Foundation certification. This entry level PM cert’ is a must have for your CV and will teach you the vitals of project management methodology. In little time you’ll be able to tackle project organisation, planning and risk. Sequence the steps for producing a PRINCE2 plan, Identify key activities related to the steps in the risk management procedure and understand the PRINCE2 processes and how they are carried out throughout the project.

For those already working in Project Management itself, then the natural goal will be the Project Management Professional (PMP).  This PMI awarded certification will allow you to safely and successfully manage and monitor a project from inception to close. Enabling you to create the budget, perform quality assurance and control, identify risk, validate and control scope and deal with stakeholders.   

Whatever your current status, the construction industry is crying out for skilled professionals. Request a call back today to speak to a career expert about your best route for getting off the tools and into a truly rewarding role that needs you.