Report Shows Lack of Workers May Affect UK Infrastructure

Men working on their construction project

Higher costs and delays on major infrastructure projects would occur if the construction industry in the U.K. should hire more project managers, according to a report. Accounting firm EY analysed the current situation, and it said that the shortage of skilled managers would affect development plans.

Metal spinners in Birmingham like those working in companies such as Winward Engineering LTD would likely be unaffected, but some areas in the country will have a serious deficit on project managers compared to skilled labour.

Short Supply

Job listings for project managers in Eastern England are five times more than the available opportunities for skilled workers, according to the EY report. On the flip side, London has too many project managers available for projects.

The deficit trends in some regions are unprecedented since there demand for project management, commercial and financial skills have increased at the same time, according to Joe Stringer, EY Government and Public Sector partner.

Consulting firm Arcadis also concurred as it released a separate report, which noted that the industry should double its output over the next 10 years to deliver certain targets on infrastructure projects.

Consulting Advice

Construction firms need a “step-change” in project delivery if it wants to provide projects under the National Infrastructure and Construction Pipeline (NICP), according to Arcadis. The solution requires the use of digital tools and investment in training personnel.

Arcadis and EY’s reports based their recommendations on the NICP’s goals. Over the next decade, the government plans to spend more than £500 billion for projects.

The plan, however, failed to recognise challenges during that covered period, according to Greg Barclay, co-author of the Arcadis report. These challenges include new technology that may emerge in the future.


The British construction sector should invest more in training project managers to meet the government’s infrastructure objectives. Any disruption to development plans can be detrimental to the economy since the construction sector influences its growth.