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The construction labour market skills crisis: the perspective of small–medium-sized firms

journal contribution
posted on 26.03.2009, 11:46 by Andrew Dainty, Stephen Ison, Geoffrey H. Briscoe
Reports abound of the detrimental effect of the construction skills crisis on the performance and future development of the UK construction industry. The industry’s continued growth in output, coupled with its unpopularity as a career choice, has led to extreme pressure on its labour market capacity. There remains, however, a paucity of empirical research into the nature of its highly complex labour market. In particular, very little attention has been paid to the impacts being felt by the smaller firms who account for the vast majority of the industry’s economic output and employment. This paper reports on research that has explored the perspectives of smaller employers with respect to the skills crisis. Using an inductive methodology, this research canvassed the opinions of representatives of small- and medium-sized (SME) firms in order to establish the impact of skills shortages on the operational efficiency of the industry. The paper reveals the complex interplay of factors which have combined to shape the industry’s skills crisis in recent years and uncovers the practical implications for firms attempting to operate in increasingly tight labour market conditions.



  • Architecture, Building and Civil Engineering


DAINTY, A.R.J., ISON, S.G. and BRISCOE, G.H., 2005. The construction labour market skills crisis: the perspective of small–medium-sized firms. Construction Management and Economics, 23(4), pp. 387-398.


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