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Skills shortage increases - bad news for SME's?


The latest research on the state of trade by the Federation of Master Builders (FMB) shows that skills shortages in the construction industry is getting worse.

Shortage of bricklayers and carpenters has long been an issue for the construction industry but research now suggests that the skills shortage is extending to other trades across the industry.

The FMB has found that 46% of SME construction companies are struggling to hire roofers, with 41% struggling to find plumbers. It also found that difficulty in recruitment is spreading to other key trades in the construction industry.

Smaller building companies have a lot on their plates at the moment. The shortage in skilled labour is driving up costs and slowing down build progress. The rising costs of materials is already being felt due to the weak pound, it is only a matter of time until this results in a decrease workloads for SME’s – something which has not happened for 15 consecutive quarters.

It is not only SME’s that are feeling the pinch. The Chief Executive of Bellway Homes has recently remarked that the availability of bricklayers, plumbers and electricians is an ongoing difficulty and is causing build costs to rise.

The construction sector clearly heavily relies on skilled labour and much of the workforce are non-UK nationals. As we all know, the UK will be negotiating the Brexit deal over the coming months. Only time will tell the full impact of the Brexit vote on the construction industry. It is suggested that the Government turns its mind to the worsening skills shortage when negotiating and implementing a new immigration system in order to minimise any further skills shortage and allow the construction industry to continue to thrive.

For further information relating to this article, please contact Ellie Leatherday or a member of the Housebuilders team.

Please note this information is provided by way of example and may not be complete and is certainly not intended to constitute legal advice. You should take bespoke advice for your circumstances.


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