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The impact of multiskilling on UK construction manpower

Ejohwomu, O.A., Proverbs, G.D. and Olomolaiye, P.O. (2008) The impact of multiskilling on UK construction manpower. ICE Management, Procurement and Law, 161 (1). pp. 25-30. ISSN 1751-4304

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To link to this item DOI: 10.1680/mpal.2008.161.1.25


The overall significance of the construction and building services sector internationally cannot be overemphasised. In the UK, the industry currently accounts for 10% gross domestic product (GDP) and employs 2 million people, which is more than 1 in 14 of the total workforce. However, regardless of its output (approximately £65 billion annually) there has been a steady decline in the number of trade entrants into the construction and building services sector. Consequently, the available ‘pool of labour’ is inadequately resourced; productivity is low; the existing labour force is overstressed; there is an increase in site deaths; and a long-term labour shortage is envisaged. Today, the evidence seems to suggest that multiskilling is a tentative redress for ameliorating the skills crisis in the construction and building sectors. A 43-year time-series of data on 23 manpower attributes was evaluated as part of this investigation. The developed linear regression models show that the concept of multiskilling obeys the ‘law of diminishing returns'. That is, a weak relation was found between construction output and a three or more combination of manpower attributes. An optimisation model is prescribed for traditional trades.

Item Type:Article
Divisions:Science > School of the Built Environment > Construction Management and Engineering
ID Code:11941

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