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 who work with their products 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.

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.

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 you understand the electrical installer, which is vital for a good marketing strategy and essential for internal discussions. The European Electrical Installation monitor provides insights on what activities installers are doing, how they orientate themselves, what training needs they have, how digital they are, and much more. 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. Aside from forecasting volumes, we use architects' insights to study key trends like BIM, prefab, changes in DMU, the changing role of architects, and many more. Knowing where, how and when these trends become relevant is key market intelligence necessary for sound strategic decision making.


Painter Insight Monitor

The Painter Insight Monitor includes 8 main European markets and 250 professional painters are interviewed per country each year. This provides a comprehensive scope on 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.).

Discover opportunities for your brand

Do you want to know how trends change your target groups’ demand, attitudes, perspectives and decision-making criteria, and whether your brand and products are answering their needs? Do you want to learn how you can make your customers’ lives easier whilst adding value to your brand? USP Marketing Consultancy specialises in various types of market research that can answer these questions, like customer satisfaction, driver analysis, customer journey, product development research, and many more.

Customer satisfaction

Would you like to increase your turnover by improving customer satisfaction in the construction, installation and home improvement sector? USP conducts customer satisfaction research in these markets to help you succeed. Enhanced customer experience and customer satisfaction is a key factor that helps a brand stand out and grow its market share


The more distinct your brand is, the more valuable it will become. Being distinct is not that easy when playing in the field of construction, installation and home improvement, however. Professionals tend to stick with their favourite brands. Our branding studies all come down to one common goal: increasing long-term profitability by introducing, maintaining or growing your brand in a wildly competitive landscape.

Customer journey

Een customer journey (klantreis) is de persoonlijke ervaring van een klant met uw bedrijf. Hoe reageren uw klanten op uw producten, diensten of concept? Het evalueren van een klantreis stelt u in staat om de sterke en zwakke punten van uw bedrijf te verbeteren, waardoor het behoud en de omzet van klanten worden verbeterd. USP kan u helpen uw aanbod af te stemmen op de behoeften en wensen van uw klanten.

Market exploration

Perhaps you plan to enter a new market with your product or service. In that case, you need to understand exactly what is going on in that market. What are the trends and developments in that market, and who are the most important players?We use a range of methods to identify the market characteristics, such as market size, segmentation, distribution hubs, key media, market developments and sector culture.

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.

Neem contact op met onze expert:

Dirk Hoogenboom


Customer satisfaction

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