Talent shortages remain a challenge across the globe, according to KPMG’s 2015 Global Construction Project Owner’s Survey: Climbing the Curve.  The survey found that 44% of construction businesses struggle to attract qualified craft labour and 45% lack planners and project managers.

‘Climbing the Curve’ is a KPMG International survey conducted in late 2014 through face-to-face interviews with 109 senior industry leaders – many of them chief executives from organizations carrying out significant capital construction projects worldwide.

The talent gap is a much-discussed phenomenon in the industry, and owners face the same challenges that contractors have been grappling with for years – to attract, train and retain the best people in the face of severe competition from other sectors. The survey found that 44% of respondents say that they struggle to attract qualified craft labour to projects, and a similar percentage claims that a lack of available planners and project management professionals is hampering their project progress.

Over half of construction project owners have experienced underperforming projects in the previous year despite improvements in project planning and controls. For larger organisations, this rose to 61 per cent, while executives from the energy and natural resources and public sectors experienced even higher levels of project failure, at 71 per cent and 90 per cent respectively.

The research went onto uncover that the global construction community is facing the same skills crisis that the UK construction industry is trying to combat. It found that nearly half of the respondents are experiencing the shortages in skilled labour, with 69 per cent requiring external assistance to support existing workforce to enable delivery of projects.

Richard Threlfall, KPMG UK Head of Infrastructure, Building & Construction, said:  “This survey highlights the prevailing issues affecting the sector both in the UK and globally. We will only see a turnaround of poor performing contracts once we start seeing contractors and project owners adopt technology such as building information modelling (BIM) to enable more efficient planning, mandated apprenticeships to ensure skilled labour are bought up through the ranks, and more accurate planning of projects.”