Five of the most in demand roles within the construction industry are all suffering from skills shortages, according to a study by One Way Resourcing.

The quarterly analysis by the construction and rail recruitment specialist outlined five of the most sought after roles across the construction, civil engineering and housebuilding fields. The sector, which is already facing significant shortages, is likely to be stretched to full capacity as a result of the need for affordable housing, infrastructure, as well as demand for other types of property, in particular student accommodation.

Mike Ward, Director at One Way Resourcing, outlined the in demand positions:

Quantity Surveyors – ‘There’s a significant shortage of expertise in this field and the diminishing availability of professionals, for various reasons, has left a real dearth of talent on the permanent side. The position is critical to any project, particularly at a time when firms are looking to increase their margins and efficient cost planning and commercial management can make all the difference.’

Design / Technical Managers – ‘These professionals manage the flow of information and communication across all project associated parties and play a truly pivotal, quarterback-type role in the coordination of the design, pre construction and delivery stages of projects. Again, they’re critical to any project from both a communications and interface perspective and, consequently, it’s particularly concerning that there’s such a shortage of professionals available in the current market.’

Estimators – ‘There was already a real shortage of professional estimators before the uplift in construction output in 2015 and now the dearth of talent is on the verge of holding up a number of projects. Quite simply, more work means fewer available estimators as builders look to improve their margins by finding ways to accurately gauge costs in line with specifications for materials, labour and equipment. The role hasn’t changed much, but the technology these professionals use has progressed a long way from the days of scribbling on a piece of paper. Consequently, anyone looking to secure an estimator role needs to have at least some level of technological knowledge.’

Planners – ‘This has been a notoriously high-demand low-supply role for a number of years now with a recognised shortage in both the public and private sectors. The role is similar to that of an estimator in many ways and involves the designation of technology and the assignment of specific tasks to different areas of the workforce. A good planner is absolutely critical for developing a budget and work schedule and, like the other roles mentioned here, any further shortages could have a real impact on productivity. Outside of technical competencies, a good planner must also be able to make organisational decisions and manage relationships between various suppliers and sub-contractors.’

Site Engineers – ‘There are few truly outstanding site engineers readily available in the market and there’s been such strong demand in recent times that many Assistant Engineers or Chainmen have been thrust into the lime light too early, and don’t really have the experience or technical knowledge to carry out the role competently. With the emphasis on ‘building up’ and not ‘out’, we’ve seen a real shortage in sound Reinforced Concrete Frame Site Engineers.’