Picture of boy being examining by doctor at a tuberculosis sanatorium

Understanding our future through Open Access research about our past...

Strathprints makes available scholarly Open Access content by researchers in the Centre for the Social History of Health & Healthcare (CSHHH), based within the School of Humanities, and considered Scotland's leading centre for the history of health and medicine.

Research at CSHHH explores the modern world since 1800 in locations as diverse as the UK, Asia, Africa, North America, and Europe. Areas of specialism include contraception and sexuality; family health and medical services; occupational health and medicine; disability; the history of psychiatry; conflict and warfare; and, drugs, pharmaceuticals and intoxicants.

Explore the Open Access research of the Centre for the Social History of Health and Healthcare. Or explore all of Strathclyde's Open Access research...

Image: Heart of England NHS Foundation Trust. Wellcome Collection - CC-BY.

Planning future construction skill requirements: understanding labour resource issues

Agapiou, Andrew and Price, Andrew and McCaffer, Ron (1995) Planning future construction skill requirements: understanding labour resource issues. Construction Management and Economics, 13 (2). pp. 149-161. ISSN 0144-6193

Full text not available in this repository. Request a copy from the Strathclyde author


Construction is a labour-intensive industry, which places heavy reliance upon the skills of its workforce. These skills need updating continually as many of the trades involved in the industry become increasingly specialized. During the 1980s, there was a rapid rise in construction activity within the UK, followed by a sudden but short-lived boom accompanied by skill shortages. The construction industry is now experiencing a deeper and longer lasting recession than originally predicted, resulting in valuable employees in all sections of the industry being lost - a high proportion of whom will not return to the construction industry. The construction industry is predicted to grow in the period after the recession by an average of 3% per annum until the year 2001. With this growth the industry is expected to experience considerable skill shortages in both traditional and new skill areas. Construction is in a period of rapid cultural change accompanied by the introduction of new technologies and new ways of organizing construction activities. Powerful national and multinational clients will continue to influence the choice of these technologies through their demands for faster construction times. The construction industry will continue to face increased competition in search of eligible recruits to train accordingly. Employment within the construction industry will continue to move away from large and medium sized firms to small firms and working proprietors. In the 1980s, self-employment and the use of specialist labour-only sub-contractors increased as training levels declined. This trend will hamper the industry's ability to train people for future skill needs. This paper aims to assist interested parties in the construction industry understand and realize the importance of labour resource issues and the need for long-term planning of labour resource requirements, so allowing them to train and retrain people to address the predicted skill shortages.