Building standards - workforce data collection: analysis report 2021

The report provides a national-level view of the challenges facing the building standards profession in relation to resourcing, development of competencies and levels of turnover.

4.0 Executive Summary

4.1. This report provides an analysis and supporting commentary on the 2021 data collection exercise looking at the size and shape of the local authority workforce delivering the building standards verification service. The analysis focuses on the current and future levels (supply and demand) for staff and the extent to which this demand is met by supply into job roles.

4.2. Although demand for people into job roles is consistent and increasing over time; there has been no significant change in the size of the workforce. Effective recruitment and succession planning are required to grow the workforce to meet the increasing levels of demand and ensure customer expectations can be met.

4.3. The gap between supply and demand indicates there is a shortfall of 63 people across job roles compared with current resourcing levels. The increasing demand trend over the next three years shows an expected 20% resourcing gap by 2024. This is a critical finding from the 2021 data collection which shows the extent of recruitment required to ensure the workforce is sufficiently resourced and able to maintain operational resilience of the service. More investment is required to bring new people into the building standards profession and provide career progression for existing staff. Demand in the medium-to-long term levels off but it is clear that action is needed now to ensure the verification service is fit for the future.

4.4. The current shortfall in the number of Surveyors in the workforce is a concern as this is a key service delivery role. Currently, there are 203 Surveyors in the workforce which is 12 fewer compared with 2020. This reduction is concerning as the reported demand for people in this role is 224. Assistant Surveyors and Building Inspectors have also shown reduction in supply which is likely to have a cumulative effect on the ability to deliver a responsive and customer-focused level of service.

4.5. The ageing demographic of the workforce is unchanged from 2020. This still represents the biggest challenge to resilience of the service as experienced staff, often in leadership positions, leave the profession. More positively, the number of people with a length of service up to 10 years is continuing to rise, which builds a strong basis for growth in the profession.

4.6. The number of Graduate Apprentices in the workforce is continuing to increase. Managers are successfully recruiting graduates and supporting them with training and mentoring to help them become effective team members in a relatively short timeframe. Similarly, the number of Modern Apprentices is starting to grow is this is likely to see a significant boost following the introduction of the pilot modern apprenticeship pathway for building standards from August 2022.

4.7. Learning and development of the workforce remains a priority. The number of qualifications held and currently being studied is at consistent levels reported in 2020. The minimal reductions in qualifications being studied a master’s degree level and some vocational courses is in line with annual fluctuations as people begin and finish their studies.

4.8. People leaving the workforce is predominantly due to retirement. This is expected due to the older profile shown in the demographic data. Turnover levels show a slight increase in the number of people leaving for a job in the private sector but this level of change is consistent with previous data.



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