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Trends I published 15 December 2023

Labour shortage

A labour shortage is an essential issue within the construction and installation sectors. 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 digitalization and industrialization of the sector need to deal with labour shortages as well. It requires another kind of person, 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 the labor 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 the labor shortage already impact the industry?

The impact of labour shortages 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.
  • There is a growing demand for easy-to-install products and solutions.
  • The use of prefab solutions will change the traditional decision-making unit (DMU). Large off-site producers gain importance.
  • There is 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 industrialization.
  • 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 and services.

How does USP help with labour shortage challenges?

With the topic of 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 research, USP Marketing Consultancy has developed several monitors. We continuously research market developments and the effects of key trends like labour shortages among architects, contractors, HVAC installers, electrical installers, painters, and end-consumers, of which reports are published quarterly, semi-annually, or annually.

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