Apparently, construction firms are struggling to find carpenters and bricklayers! According to recent figures, two-thirds of small and medium businesses are facing the brunt of the skills shortage by struggling to find bricklayers and carpenters. This could be good news for you lot in the trade though with 61% expecting that wages will rise in the next 6 months.

The survey, conducted by the Federation of Master Builders, found that 48% of small and medium-sized companies were also struggling to hire plumbers and electricians. A further 46% reported difficulties in finding plasterers too.

Alongside this, it was also found that the workloads for SME’s had grown at a much slower rate towards the end of 2017. So much so, that for those building new homes, a negative net balance was shown. This was for the first time since 2013!

And, to make matters worse, just 38% of SME’s feel that their workloads would increase in the coming few months. However, 87% of builders do believe though that material prices will rise in the first half of the year.

The chief executive of the Federation of Master Builders shared his thoughts. Brian Berry described: “Skills shortages are skyrocketing and it begs the question, who will build the new homes and infrastructure projects the government is crying out for?”

“The government has set itself an ambitious target to build 300,000 homes every year in England alone.” Take a look at a report on this here.

“More than two-thirds of construction SMEs are struggling to hire bricklayers, which is one of the key trades in the building industry.”

“This has increased by nearly 10% in just three months which points to a rapid worsening of an already dire situation.”

“What’s more, nearly as many are facing difficulties hiring carpenters and joiners. These figures are the highest we’ve noted since records began a decade ago.”

“As a result, the wages for these increasingly scarce skilled tradespeople continues to rise sharply; that’s a simple consequence of supply and demand.”

“This, coupled with the fact that small construction firms continue to face significant material price increases, will inevitably squeeze their margins and put a brake on growth.”

“The government must take account of the worsening construction skills shortage with Brexit looming large on the horizon.”

“The Prime Minister must ensure that the immigration system that replaces the free movement of people can take account of the particular needs of key sectors.”

“Without skilled labour from the EU, the skills shortages we face would be considerably worse.”

“And, it is not in anyone’s best interest to pull the rug out from under the sector by introducing an inflexible and unresponsive immigration system.”

“On the domestic front and in the longer term, to ensure we have an ample supply of skilled workers in the future, the government must continue to work with industry to set the right framework in terms of T-Levels and apprenticeships.”

So what do you think of this? Let us know in the comments below.


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