How to beat the skills gap in construction

The skills gap in construction is getting wider and causing an increasing number of delays on site. The Construction Industry Training Board (CITB) estimates that we will need as many as 225,000 more construction workers by the end of 2027.

The need is spread across all regions of the UK, all sectors of construction and covers all disciplines. This is a problem that has far reaching consequences as we continue to need more, better buildings – and we need them faster than ever.

For example, the government has recognised the need to train more than 100,000 new workers as part of the push to effectively retrofit homes for a low carbon future.

Like the changes to Part L and the upcoming Future Homes Standard, what starts with residential reflects the construction industry as a whole and it will inevitably have consequences across all sectors.

However, while the skills gap is a problem, and a huge amount of training will need to be done, there is another way of tackling the issue. By reviewing the materials used in buildings, is it possible to sidestep the skills gap problem and reduce delays on site?

One example of how this works in practice is Specwall. Used as an alternative to blockwork, plasterboard and SFS systems, our wall system is designed to be installed quicker and more easily.

In fact, the system is so fast and easy that time and motion studies have proven that installation of Specwall is possible in just one third of the time it might take to install a traditional partition wall or riser with plasterboard, blockwork or SFS.

All that is possible with very little training. Furthermore, everyone who receives Specwall training will receive regular updates and after-care so they know all the nuances of the product and how it interacts with other products. Choosing Specwall for your development means that you can benefit now and in the future.

Our single-visit construction process and the modular nature of the panels makes it as easy as possible:

  • The solid panels fit together with a simple tongue-and-groove system with adhesive and dowels.
  • Panels connect directly to base and head track channels on the floor with a full bead of fire mastic used in the tracks.
  • Panels can be cut to size easily used hand saws and circular saws. All off-cuts can then be reused in construction on the same site or in the future.
  • Fire mastic, fire-proof mineral wool and fire-proof insulation are all used where needed to assure safety.

And that’s it – that’s how Specwall panels are installed. It is much simpler and requires fewer trades than alternatives.

Furthermore, it can be installed before the building is watertight and less than 2% of the product is sent to landfill. Panels can also be re-cut and moved around at a later date if required. All that is needed to reinstall in a different configuration is the grooves to be cut back into the panel and then the same joining process is repeated.

WATCH the full training video here >>

Want to learn more about how Specwall can help you sidestep the skills gap and help keep your development on track? Get in touch with the team today to learn more about the product, our training programme and

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