Shortage Of Skilled Tradesmen Holding Back UK House Building
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Shortage Of Skilled Tradesmen Holding Back UK House Building

posted in News by Skippy on 12:23 Oct 20th, 2015

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A report has found that two thirds of British builders have been forced to turn down work because they have been unable to find enough bricklayers, roofers and other tradesmen which they need to complete the job. The findings were released by The Federation of Master Builders (FMB), which claims that 66% of small construction firms have refused new business because of a lack of skilled workers.

UK Lacks Construction Apprentices

Some bosses within the industry believe that the dwindling numbers of apprentices are one of the main reasons there is a growing lack of manpower available for builders. They argue that parental pressure is making more youngsters go to university and follow other career paths based on perceived low pay in the construction industry.

However the FMB say that by the age of 23 a bricklayer with five years of experience can earn up to £31,000 a year, or £52,000 in London. These findings come just days after the Local Government Association (LGA) warned that Britain is training ‘too many hairdressers and not enough bricklayers’.

Another reason why young people have been turning away from a career in building services and other trades in favour of other jobs was the financial crash in 2008. At that time there was a bleak outlook for the prospects of someone entering the construction industry, leading many to switch paths and train for something else.

The bosses from some of Britain’s biggest building companies such as FTSE 100 giants Persimmon and Barratt Developments say that the shortage of workers is holding back companies from building new homes. This comes just as the government begins a scheme which will ensure one million new homes are built by 2020.

The shortage has also led to a number of knock on effects for the industry, including an increase in the price of hiring experienced tradesmen as they are more of them needed that there is available. Some also decided to retire early because of the financial crash or begin careers in other industries.

Hayley Ellis, director of training at the FMB, urged youngsters receiving their GCSE results today to consider a career in the building industry – particularly through apprenticeship schemes. “The construction industry offers fantastic earning potential,” said Ellis.

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