Mace: Missing construction roles on shortage list ‘unfortunate’

4 June 2019 | By Neil Gerrard

Mark Reynolds

Mace chief executive Mark Reynolds has branded the decision by the Migration Advisory Committee (MAC) not to add construction managers, project managers and quantity surveyors to the government’s shortage occupation list as “unfortunate”.

He made the comments in reaction to news of the MAC’s first review of the shortage occupation list since 2013, in which it acknowledged that the construction sector requires “careful consideration” when it comes to the future of the UK immigration system.

Reynolds, who is also skills workstream lead at the Construction Leadership Council (CLC), said: “We are pleased that they now accept that there is a special case for medium-skilled construction workers to be included in a future list as we face an increasing recruitment and skills challenge.”

He also expressed satisfaction that the MAC recognised that construction is increasing the amount of time spend on training and up-skilling of the existing workforce “more than any other sector”.

But he added: “It is unfortunate that they have not yet decided to add construction managers, project managers and quantity surveyors to the shortage list despite our representations. As our immigration system changes in response to our exit from the EU, it is important that we secure a regime that does not disadvantage our industry and allows us to deliver the homes, schools, hospitals and infrastructure that the public are crying out for.

“Following our meetings with Home Office officials and minister, we will be seeking a further meeting with the Migration Advisory Council to ensure they fully understand the issues we face and so that we can work towards a solution to our challenges."


If companies engaged the help of the retired professionals this would drastically reduce the shortage. Many of us, after a lifetime in the industry would welcome the opportunity to assist on a part time basis.
I ran my own QS Partnership very successfully and with over 50 years experience in the industry, only decided to retire full time in 2018. What you do not seem to realise, is that we are here but you do not want to use us and take advantage of lifetimes of experience.
We are not as brain dead and useless as many think we are.

Mervyn Jenkins, 4 June 2019

I find it hard to accept the comments made by Mark Reynolds.
Their are plenty of UK construction Project/Site managers etc screaming out for jobs in the industry. The reality is the recruitment agencies won't put the candidate's forward.
I know because it's happened to me on numerous occasions in past. I've even been told that I am over qualified for some site/construction manager roles I've applied for and even been asked by the recruiting agency to dumb down my CV because it's too impressive.

Paul Steels, 4 June 2019

Unfortunate.... I bet that wasn’t the word he used in private.

That decision will severely restrict our industry and place limitations on performance but more importantly diversity and knowledge sharing.

Paul Fitzpatrick , 4 June 2019

I'm not sure the reported shortage of professions is reality or just a strategy by some to increase supply to lower the cost of employing professionals.

Steve Hunter, 5 June 2019

I find it very hard to believe there is a lack of supply of construction professionals in the industry. If there is a 'lack of supply' it will be in a place like London, where particularly in design, the explosion of numbers of young European professionals coming in, has not only allowed employers to keep costs down, it has made it unaffordable for British-trained people to live and work as they don't earn enough.

As for recruitment consultants, very rarely do they understand what the people in the professions do.

I've had conversations with some who insist the most important thing to have to work in an Architecture practice is Revit experience, which makes me wonder how I spent the last 24 years working without it!

Charles, 9 June 2019

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