Mando Solutions

Reflecting on 2024 So Far: Insights from the Mining and Construction Sectors 

The year 2024 has so far presented enough ups and downs to keep us all on our toes. The good news is that there are genuinely strong signals that the mineral extraction and construction industries in the UK are experiencing healthy demand in 2024.

With rising demand for mining and construction projects, however, comes new and perennial workforce challenges, some of which are influenced by broader economic factors.

As Deloitte research has highlighted, these factors include permit challenges, supply shortages in critical metals, the need to improve the efficiency of existing assets and operations, and the challenge of upholding ESG expectations.

So, what does it all look like up close? Read on to crunch the numbers and consider what lies ahead for mineral extraction and construction jobs growth and hiring strategies.

Positive Signs After a Challenging Start

As we entered Q1, adverse weather conditions coupled with cost constraints slowed the pace of new hires, reflected in a 12% decrease in positions filled compared to 2023.

However, Q2 has brought a healthy turnaround. With improved weather conditions, there was a strong increase in demand, with the mineral extraction sector seeing a 12% uptick in hires and the construction sector surging by 32% compared to last year – an excellent sign of growing business confidence.

Labour and Skills Shortages Persist

Mining and construction companies are facing skills shortages on several fronts. Firstly, there is a noticeable and continuing decline in job applications for construction jobs and mining jobs.

Adding to employers’ woes is the fact that fewer new entrants are coming into the sector, leading to a rapidly ageing workforce and further exacerbating skills shortages.

Statistics highlighted by Rhys Morgan, the engineering and education director at the Royal Academy of Engineering, show that 80% of the 1,250 mining engineers registered with the UK’s Engineering Council are over 50 years old, whilst 40% are aged 60 or above.

From our perspective, Q1 offered an abundance of skilled labour, leading to a commendable 98.4% fulfilment rate for new hires. However, the landscape shifted in Q2 as skills shortages started to bite, particularly in the heavy machinery sector, which led to a 10% drop in fulfilment rates quarter-on-quarter.

Our recent KPI report reveals a major contrast: where an average of 15 candidate availability calls sufficed in 2023, now an average of 29 calls are needed for each new hire.

Increasing Pay Rates

Workers’ pay expectations have risen by an average of 8% compared to 2023, echoing BCIS research that points to a 7% year-on-year increase in construction site wages. Yet employers’ spending capabilities have only increased by 6%, revealing a significant discrepancy highlighting the impact of labour supply restrictions in the UK market.

How Mando Solutions is Adapting to The Market

In response to these challenges, Mando Solutions has taken proactive steps to allow our teams, clients and candidates to adapt to changing market forces.

Enhanced Training: We have ramped up training and development initiatives for our recruitment staff. With this strategic investment, we aim to improve efficiencies within our sales team and better meet the evolving needs of our clients.

Flexible KPI Targets: Recognising the dynamic nature of the minerals extraction and construction industry, we have adopted flexible KPI targets. Our senior management is conducting quarterly reviews to ensure our team member’s performance goals are tailored to address current industry challenges and business requirements.

An Optimistic Future for Mining and Construction Recruitment

As we roll through the remainder of 2024, we believe our adaptations will be crucial in sustaining growth and meeting the workforce demands of the mining and construction companies we work with.

We remain committed to finding new opportunities for resilience, despite the prevailing challenges. Above all, we are optimistic about the prospects of the industry and the capabilities of our skilled recruitment team in facilitating quality hires. We are also happy to mention Rosie Edwards who will be celebrating her 5 year anniversary this month with Mando Solutions. Starting as a Recruitment Consultant and working up to a Recruitment Team Leader looking after our major accounts, she truly emphasises our commitment to the long-term success of our team and the mining and construction market.

If you’ve appreciated these industry insights, we’d love to share more of them with you. Contact us today for guidance on hiring, building teams for your next project or finding your next role. Our teams are ready to meet your needs, whether for temporary jobs, permanent roles or managed services.

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