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'Did You Know' The UK is facing a skilled labour crisis

'Did You Know' The UK is facing a skilled labour crisis

Two – Thirds, yes 66% of UK Builders have had to turn down work because they don’t have enough skilled tradespeople, according to a survey by the Federation of Master Builders.

David Ritchie, chief executive of Bovis Homes, said the skills deficit was pushing up the price of hiring tradespeople, while Jeff Fairburn of Persimmon said rapid growth in the industry has caused a “squeeze in terms of resources”. 

Building companies attribute the shortfall to a difficulty in finding apprentices. Post the downturn, many skilled tradespeople left the industry as the number of housing starts in the UK dropped from over 200,000 homes a year, to close to 100,000. Many re-skilled or retired, thus leaving the industry with somewhat less capacity than it once had. Bricklayers, carpenters and plumbers are amongst the trades shortest in supply.

120,000 apprenticeships are needed by 2019; approximately 25,000 per year. The UK is currently being driven by strong growth in the commercial and industry sectors increasing the demand of skilled workers although recruitment levels of apprentices is low.


The average age of a construction worker is now 49, as the industry struggles to get youngsters to take up a trade. Currently nationally some 240,000 homes a year need to be built to meet supply. The lack of workers and investment has resulted in approximately 165,000 being built.

Construction employment in Scotland is currently growing at 1.1% per annum significantly above the average UK rate of 0.6% So spread the word and encourage the next generation to learn a hands on trade as construction is GROWING.