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NFRC Responds to Construction Skills Network Industry Outlook - 2024-2028

by Megan Poole | Jun 17, 2024

Published May 2024 by CITB, the Construction Skills Network Outlook provides insights into the UK construction economy and its future labour requirements. 

Ruth Scarrott, Head of Careers at NFRC, shares what this means from a roofer's perspective:

The report provides a comprehensive overview of the construction industry in the UK, including forecasts, trends, and challenges. From a roofing perspective, several key insights emerge:

1. Skills Shortages and Education and Training: There's still a significant shortage of skilled workers in the construction industry, including roofers. This shortage poses challenges for roofing companies in finding competent professionals to meet project demands. The report documents the requirement of a 5% (1000 operatives) increase in additional labour between now and 2028 for the UK roofing industry to maintain current output levels. An increase of 1000 operatives over a 3–4-year period appears manageable; however, the UK roofing industry still has a low throughput of apprentices year on year to meet the required skills needs and to accommodate those who are exiting the sector through natural churn. In addition to low numbers the percentage of completions of those starting apprenticeships remains around 60%. The report underscores the importance of investing in training and education for roofing professionals. Successful completion of apprenticeship programmes, supporting your existing workforce with vocational training and promoting and encouraging continuous professional development initiatives are vital for addressing skills shortages and ensuring a competent workforce pipeline for the future.

2. Technology Integration: The report highlights the increasing use of technology in construction, which impacts roofing practices as well. Advancements such as drone technology for inspections and Building Information Modelling (BIM) for project management offer opportunities to improve efficiency and quality in roofing projects.

3. Regulatory Changes: Roofers need to stay updated on changes in building codes and regulations, particularly concerning safety standards and environmental requirements. Compliance with these regulations is essential for ensuring the legality and sustainability of roofing projects.

4. Sustainability: There's a growing emphasis on sustainability in the construction industry, including roofing. Roofers are encouraged to adopt eco-friendly practices and materials, such as green roofs and solar panel installations, to minimise environmental impact and meet the increasing demand for sustainable solutions from customers and clients.

The above emphasises the need for adaptability, innovation, and a commitment to quality and sustainability in navigating the evolving landscape of the UK roofing industry, with the prime commitment from all in the sector to invest in the skills and people needed now and in the future.

Fortunately, the UK roofing industry has continued to develop and maintain routes to competency for installers, which include VQ, apprenticeships, specialist applied skills programmes and RoofCERT provision, and the industry is well placed to offer advice and guidance on training through NFRC careers, Roof Training Groups and CITB advisors.

So, if you would like to know more information about any of the above routes to competence or would like to discuss any other careers or skills topics, then please get in touch at

Read the CITB Construction Skills Network report here.

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