The construction industry can stop skill shortages slowing decarbonisation efforts by harnessing the energy management expertise of third-party suppliers, according to Tom Adlington, sector sales manager, building services & construction at Aggreko.

Tom’s comments follow a report from Recruitment consultancy, Randstad, which found the industry’s workforce is under strength by around 500,000 people. Since 2008, 465,000 people have left the construction industry, seeing the headcount reduce by nearly 20%. Randstad is warning that demand from major infrastructure projects in the coming years will put further strain on the availability of skilled labour across the industry.

Meanwhile, the pressure on the construction industry to decarbonise is increasing rapidly. A forthcoming report from Aggreko has found that 82% of construction managers in the UK think sustainability in business is more important than it was three years ago.

Tom said: “Achieving tough decarbonisation and sustainability goals is a major challenge for the construction industry and shortages of skilled workers make this test even more daunting. Effective decarbonisation means a combination of the right supply partnership and the right products working in synergy with strategies and techniques like rightsizing, load balancing and peak shaving, which all require expertise.”

As a result, Tom is calling on the industry to draw upon the knowledge and expertise of third-party suppliers, especially where the pressure to decarbonise is most intense, such as on urban sites subject to Low Emissions Zones (LEZ) and Ultra Low Emissions Zones (ULEZ).

“In these environments, specialist technologies such as Battery Energy Storage Systems (BESS) are becoming increasingly important, whether deployed in standalone configurations or in hybrid configurations with Stage V generators running on HVO fuel. Again, optimally deploying these technologies is a complex task that requires specialist skills,” said Tom. He added: “Where those skills are in short supply, third party suppliers can be an important resource for the industry.”