Construction stalls when Britain’s shortage of skilled workers bites

For a simple home renovation in Brighton on the south coast of England, architect and architect Phil Wish drowned a plumber from sick leave, pushed his brother-in-law into work, and wired himself. I had to.

His plight is Brexit And the outflow of European workers during the Covid pandemic.

Contractors and developers across the UK have warned of a sharp shortage of skilled craftsmen such as carpenters, bricklayers and plasterers. This is becoming Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s favorite slogan.Build better, “To be like a joke in the industry.

Construction projects are stagnant, wages are rising as a result of labor pressures, while material costs are skyrocketing in the broader disruption of the global supply chain.

According to industry experts, the government’s goal of building 300,000 homes a year cannot be achieved without easing immigrant visas and promoting extensive training in the country.

“Neither love nor money could find an electrician,” Wish said, adding that his project would have been postponed until next year if he had been waiting to secure an electrician. “If you don’t have enough builders, you can’t” build better. ” ”

The shortage of skilled construction workers is the result of a generational shift from vocational training, and in Wish’s view it has been created for decades as a result of deep-seated snobs in trade. To enter university. “

There is a shortage Deterioration due to pandemicSaw temporary labor rooted in place during a series of blockades, but tens of thousands of skilled workers, mainly from Eastern Europe, left Britain.

Meanwhile, Brexit and the end of the free movement of people between Britain and Europe have revealed how much Britain’s construction sector relied on its immigrant labor to fill the gap.

Jerry Swain, State Head of Construction for the Unite Union, said: “The industry has relied on foreign workers. It takes at least two years to make a decent brickworker or carpenter, so the pools available are currently limited.”

In the short term, this is good news for workers. According to Swain, bricklayers have ordered 220 pounds, and sometimes even more, than 180 pounds before the crisis. Wages are rising across the board.

The prime minister said that wages would rise Necessary adjustment The road to a high-skilled, high-paying economy, he says people voted when he refused to join the EU in 2016. However, inflationary pressures and labor pressures can instead weaken the desire for new investment.

“It’s a happy day for construction workers. It’s great that they’re bringing more money. But we still need 10 brickworkers and 8 of them. Of concern is The workload is shrinking as the labor market shrinks, “says Swain.

There is evidence that this is already happening. Construction output According to the National Bureau of Statistics, it has fallen monthly since April, down 2% year-on-year.

Phil Wish: “You can’t build back better without enough builders.” © Charlie Bibby / FT

inside that Latest survey, More than half of its members have struggled to find the workers they need, according to FMB officials.

Adrian Swan, the developer of Nottingham in the East Midlands, said work on a 16-family building on the outskirts of Wollaton has been stagnant for several months. “There is healthy demand in this area. [for houses].. However, because we cannot guarantee the start date, we cannot tell the client when he can see the client or book a plan. “

Phil Stillwell, who runs the Covers Timber and Builders Merchant Depot in the suburbs of Lewis in East Sussex, said timber prices have been stable after nearly doubling in a year, but a significant increase in other materials. Is progressing.

“Cement boys are talking about a 20 percent increase by November. Gypsum board is also up at least 12 percent in January,” he added.

The government has resisted pressure to offer more short-term visas to Europeans to alleviate labor shortages. But it’s unclear if it can seduce workers anyway, said Lloyd Bayliss, a structural engineer who runs the charter project.

He argued that the current focus must be to change the image of the industry: Attract more young British Return to training. He said technology could also help, citing new composite bricks that were combined like Lego, eliminating the need for brickwork skills.

According to a survey by the Federation of Homebuilders, every 10,000 new homes require 30,000 new employees, including about 2,500 bricklayers, 1,000 carpenters, and 300 electricians.

A year ago, the government established a “construction skills provision group” with the aim of improving existing training. “We want employers to make long-term investments in the UK’s domestic workforce, rather than relying on foreign workforce,” the government said.

But now, more colleges of education are not close to enough graduates with the right skills, said Jenny Hardman, director of the Federal Housing Construction Skills Partnership. The majority of people in the sector are self-employed, so apprentices only provide some of the answers.

“What we should have done in the last five years is the preparation for this day,” she said. “There are 60-70,000 young people who can go into construction each year, but that’s not the case,” she said.

Construction stalls when Britain’s shortage of skilled workers bites

Source link Construction stalls when Britain’s shortage of skilled workers bites

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