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UK Construction Worker Shortage Hits Record High

Research carried out by the Federation of Master Builders (FMB) has suggested that the construction worker shortage presently facing small and medium-sized businesses has reached a record high. This outcome can jeopardise the Government’s plan to construct thousands of new homes every year.

In its quarterly report on the state of the construction industry, the Federation of Master Builders found that the affected companie are finding it especially challenging to recruit carpenters and bricklayers. The construction worker shortage has also impacted demand for skilled electricians, plumbers, and plasterers.

FMB chief executive Brian Berry said that skills shortages are increasing non-stop, begging the question: who will build the new infrastructure projects and homes that the Government needs so desperately.

Mr. Berry said that the Government has a goal of building 300,000 new homes each year in England alone. He added that over two-thirds of SMEs in the construction industry are having a hard time hiring bricklayers, which is one of the major building industry trades.

The FMB said that as a result of the construction worker shortage, wages are increasing for skilled workers. Combined with the growing cost of materials, this situation is having a negative effect on construction companies.


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Considering the uncertainty created by Brexit, Mr. Berry called on the Government to ensure that people are able to freely move to and from the UK after Brexit.

He pointed out that without the skilled labour available in the EU, the current skills shortage would be a lot worse, and it is not in the Uk’s best interest to weaken the construction sector by implementing a rigid immigration system.

Mr. Berry said that the one positive aspect of the skills shortage is that professionals and tradespeople left unemployed by the collapse of major contractor Carillion are likely to find new jobs quickly.

Carillion recently announced its imminent liquidation, a move that affects the jobs of thousands of employees.

The FMB confirmed that it was presently collaborating with the Construction Industry Training Board as well as the Department for Work and Pensions to place former Carillion employees with small construction firms needing skilled workers.

Mr. Berry said that the FMB was also working to find alternative placements for the 1,200 apprentices affected by the demise of Carillion. He added that it was in everyone’s best interests to ensure that these young people continue their efforts to train for a rewarding construction career.

Specialists in Construction Insurance


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