Nearly 72% of construction professionals believe their colleagues struggle to efficiently fulfill their tasks, according to the results of a recent Construction Week survey.

The Construction Week Skills Gap Survey assessed 132 construction professionals from local, regional, and international companies across the Middle East, on the level of training and career growth opportunities their employers are currently providing.

According to the survey results, more than half of the respondents believe that their colleagues struggle to complete their work effectively, shedding light on the issue of a widening skills gap in the sector.

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Though 86% of respondents said their educational degree qualified them for the job they currently hold, around 54% of those respondents said they would still enroll themselves in an educational institute or programme (bachelor’s degree or higher) that is relevant to their current job.

Commenting on the results, Robert Jackson, director RICS Middle East & North Africa, told Construction Week: “The survey reinforces our view that staff retention is not simply a factor of remuneration, but more so whether the employers are providing learning and development opportunities for their staff.

“The results highlight the overwhelming desires of employees that want training to help them in their daily jobs, as well as provide skills which would help them progress their careers,” he added.

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Only 33% of the survey's respondents said that their organisation provided them relevant training or professional development courses, while 61% said they have not received any training or professional development courses at all.

Emma Davies, human resources manager at UAE-based contractor ALEC, said: “Potentially, we could lose knowledge across the region as people retire and move home, [and] we need to ensure this knowledge is captured and shared with new members of our businesses and the sector.”

The full results of the survey will be revealed across Construction Week's print and digital platforms over the course of this month.