USP Marketing Consultancy

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Labour shortage

Labour shortage is an essential issue within the construction and installation sector. The willingness of younger generations to pursue a career in construction or installation decreases year by year. Meanwhile, many baby boomers who are working in this sector will retire in the coming years.
The digitalisation and industrialisation of the sector need to deal with labour shortages as well. It requires another kind of people, for whom working in the construction and installation sector is not top of mind.

USP conducted several market studies and published different articles showing that labour shortage is an issue that will become even bigger in the upcoming years. Not just from a quantitative perspective (will we have enough people) but also from a qualitative perspective (will there be enough qualified people). This shortage is already visible for contractors, architects, HVAC and electrical installers, and painters.

How does labour shortage already impact the industry?

The impact of labour shortage on manufacturers is enormous, such as:

  • A negative effect on the growth of the construction and installation sector.
  • Unqualified people are not installing correctly, leading to product complaints and reputation damage.
  • A growing demand for easy-to-install products and solutions.
  • The usage of prefab solutions will change the traditional decision-making unit (DMU). Large off-site producers gain importance.
  • More demand for additional services (maintenance, commissioning, training etc.).

What is next?

The labour shortage will not be solved easily, despite all kinds of sector organisations’ efforts to improve the construction and installation image. It will be challenging to create a future workforce for this sector.

For this reason, we expect the following developments in construction and installation companies:

  • They will speed up the shift to industrialisation.
  • Companies will demand more training and services from the industry to help them do their jobs.
  • These companies will also search for products and solutions that will be easier and faster to install and require less knowledge.
  • They search for partnerships with suppliers who will take responsibility for the more complex jobs & services.

How does USP help with labour shortage challenges?

With the topic labour shortage in mind, we help our customers to:

  1. Map out the issues of labour shortage among the key target groups and countries, and foreseen
        solutions to deal with the labour shortage through market exploration.
  2. Talk to professionals and find out how to improve existing products or develop new products to
        achieve faster installation (idea generation and product testing) via focus groups.
  3. Exploring training and support needs.
  4. Identifying to what degree industrialisation is a solution and which key players are relevant via
        in-depth interviews.

Context is key

To create an overview of market developments and provide context for client-specific researches, USP Marketing Consultancy has developed several monitors. We continuously research market developments and effects of key trends like labour shortage among architects, contractors, HVAC installers, electrical installers, painters and end-consumers, of which reports are published quarterly, semi-annually or annually.

European Electrical Installation Monitor

This research helps understand the electrical installer, vital for a good marketing strategy and internal discussions. The European Electrical Installation monitor provides insights on installers activities, how they orientate themselves, training needs they have, how digital they are, etc. The key trends in this market are monitored each quarter in seven European countries since 2016.



European Architectural Barometer

Each quarter, USP’s prediction model forecasts future building volumes in eight European countries. Alongside forecasting volumes, we use architects’ insights to study key trends like BIM, prefab, changes in DMU, the changing role of architects, etc. Knowing where, how and when these trends become relevant is the key market intelligence necessary for sound strategic decision making.



Painter Insight Monitor

The Painter Insight Monitor includes eight main European markets and 250 professional painters per country that are interviewed each year. This provides a comprehensive scope of the European paint market (interior wall paint, exterior wall paint and lacquers) and related non-paint products (acrylic sealants, tapes, wall fillers, wood repair, paint sprayers, brushes & rollers, etc.).


Latest news around labour shortage

We frequently publish news articles based on our latest market studies. Read our most recent articles about labour shortage below.

Contact us

For more information about our expertise and research on building materials please contact the responsible partner below.
We look forward to help you.

Contact our expert:

Dirk Hoogenboom


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