Chartered Institute of Building Magazine of the Chartered Institute of Building


CIOB launches shortage occupation survey

10 June 2020

The Chartered Institute of Building (CIOB) has launched a new survey to find out where the most pressing skills shortages in construction lie.

The survey comes ahead of a full review of the professions contained within the government’s Shortage Occupation List, which is compiled by the Migration Advisory Committee (MAC).

Certain roles such as construction and building trades supervisors are consistently reported as a shortage occupation, along with bricklayers, civil engineers and plant and machine operatives.

However, there was controversy last year when a number of construction roles deemed by the industry to be in short supply were not added to the Shortage Occupation List by the MAC. Meanwhile, the government’s immigration bill, which will introduce a points-based system and a salary threshold of £25,600 for immigrant workers wishing to enter the UK, was voted through the House of Commons last month. It will now go on to further parliamentary scrutiny.

Announcing the launch of the new survey, David Barnes, policy and public affairs manager at the CIOB, said: “The UK government has once again commissioned the Migration Advisory Committee (MAC) to carry out a full review of the professions included in the Shortage Occupation List (SOL), to understand what skills are in demand, particularly as the UK gears up for a new points-based immigration system.

“The SOL consists of occupations that are experiencing a shortage of skilled workers and where it’s sensible to try to fill those shortages through migration. Those occupations that provide evidence they are in high demand and need to be filled immediately are then authorised by the MAC and added to the list to ensure the positions are filled either by UK or overseas workers.

“The CIOB have therefore partnered with several trade and professional bodies in the built environment, to provide evidence to the MAC on the recruit needs of the industry.

“We urge members to contribute to this short survey to ensure the industry maintains its ability to recruit skilled overseas workers in the midst of a changing skills landscape.”

The survey closes on 19 June.


There are loads of over 50 year olds fit and wanting to work like me, who HR Managers seem to be blocking offers of work to. Even if I get good interviews with the directors. Reasons given are, not currently working, or demanding a recent working reference. Until five years ago I was being repeated pested for work. Now its a case of we do not want any oldies.
Or are Britis being overlooked now in favour of cheaper imports?

colin, 11 June 2020

I work within the historic built environment, sadly our construction colleges are producing young men and woman who are trained as if they were on a production line and their skill sets are being reduced by these means.
A lot of our trade traditions are being lost to an ever more modern way of developing new and exciting structures.
I have a carpentry background, the younger generations are not schooled in the traditional ways and there is greater need of understanding from the construction professionals and trade professionals in the understanding of these type of building fabrics.
We have a fantastic amount of historic buildings and monuments throughout the country that are desperately in need of conservation work.
There is a huge gap within the conservation sector of people who have the correct knowledge to maintain our heritage.

Ian Robertson, 11 June 2020