One Way, the construction and rail recruiter, has warned that the industry could face a bigger skills crisis in 2017.
It comes after the agency found that there was a lack of adequately skilled workers to meet rising production demand in construction.
Analysis of a Markit private sector study by One Way showed that manufacturing activity increased towards the end of 2016, as companies resumed projects they delayed following the Brexit vote.
One Way said the pace of productivity rose at the fastest pace in eight months in November last year.
Paul Payne, co-founder and managing director of One Way said a drastic change was needed to tackle the shortage of skilled workers for planning and project management roles.
He said: “It’s been a year of peaks and troughs for the construction industry and while it’s difficult to suggest with too much confidence what will happen over the coming months, our analysis shows that there’s still far too few people operating within and, crucially, entering the field.
“It’s all well and good trying to make do with the current skills in the market but ultimately there will come a point when we need much greater numbers of people considering construction as a viable career choice.
The firm launched its initiative, #GirlsAllowed, with the goal to increase the number of women working in the industry. Payne believes that rail and construction companies should invest more heavily in such programmes.
“There are significant skills shortages across the market. These are skilled positions that require a considerable amount of training and experience so they can’t just be recruited off the street and placed in roles.
“Construction contributes around six per cent of the overall economy and we need to see a longer-term strategy for improving talent pipelines across the industry developed before it’s too late.
“We’ve been fortunate that we’re a robust enough organisation to meet the challenges brought on by shortages, but others may not be so lucky.”