Last year saw the construction industry faced with several unique challenges, ranging from skyrocketing material and energy costs to big gaps in the workforce due to Brexit. 

While these effects are still being felt in 2024, prospects for the rest of the year are more positive for the sector according to Glenigan’s latest construction forecast, with the organisation predicting 12% industry growth this year, followed by a further 3% in 2025.

Despite this more positive outlook, one problem that looks set to persist across the industry is its well-documented skilled labour shortages. 

Following the latest UK Trade Skills Index predicting that nearly one million new recruits could be needed to cope with output over the next decade, and Protrade’s Construction Apprenticeship Report 2024 finding that there has been a 5% decrease in the uptake of construction apprenticeships, it’s clear that the industry is still some way off filling these gaps. 

As well as being a major headache for construction bosses, the impact of these shortages will almost certainly be felt among homeowners, property developers and landlords, who could find themselves facing lengthy waits to secure the services of in-demand tradespeople. 

Could skills shortages lead to an increase in DIY?

One of the big knock-on effects of the construction industry’s skills shortages is that many people could begin taking projects into their own hands. 

According to ITV, one in five people in Britain had to cancel or postpone projects on their house due to not being able to find a suitable tradesperson last year.

With nearly one-third of homeowners said to be planning some kind of home renovation project in 2024, long wait times and the lack of suitable tradespeople could lead many to explore the possibilities of completing some elements of these projects themselves, particularly smaller, less complex jobs that might be low on the list of priorities for qualified professionals. 

Whether it’s landlords needing to carry out quick plumbing fixes on rentals, developers looking to add value to a property by redecorating or homeowners simply wanting to finish off some odd jobs, possessing these basic DIY skills could potentially save significant amounts of time and money in the long run. 

Introductory courses are a great way to learn the basic skills required to carry out some work yourself. Whether it’s tiling, carpentry, plumbing, bricklaying or decorating, Able Skills offers a range of expert-led beginner-level courses that are a great investment if you’ve any home renovation plans coming up.