The application of GIS to construction labour market planning
Abstract:The UK construction industry faces unprecedented skills demands which have been fuelled by sustained sectoral growth and a concurrent downturn in the number of young people entering the industry. However, patterns of supply and demand are not uniform across the country, with regional and local skills shortages being determined by the specific socio-economic context of the area under consideration. Thus, developing effective labour market policy demands spatially-oriented labour market information which can be reconciled against industry growth forecasts within a particular region or locality. This paper explores the potential of Geographic Information Systems (GIS) in providing such a mechanism for enhancing the labour market planning process. The paper details how GIS can aid construction labour market planning through its ability to integrate disparate labour market information efficiently, thereby placing analysts in a better position to understand specific spatial patterns. A range of datasets were strategically combined in order to reveal regional nuances in labour demand and supply which would be difficult to discern without the use of such a tool. Although the GIS output would need to be considered in combination with a range of other forecasting techniques if robust projects of labour demand and shortage are to be generated, it nevertheless offers an effective decision-support tool for informing labour market policy in the future.
Document Type: Research Article
Publication date: 2005-12-01