Skills shortages continues to drive tradesmen’s wages up

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A massive skills shortage in the construction industry has had a huge impact on wages with carpenters, bricklayers and most other tradesmen commanding  £1200 a week or more because of the lack of qualified tradesmen.

Most tradesmen are now charging over £26 an hour or more in London and the home counties this was confirmed by official reports this week by nationaltradesmen.co.uk that this post “Bricklayers earning over £1000 a week over brexit fears“.

Recruitment & Employment Confederation (REC) report showed that bricklayers in particular were highly in demand and that wage rises were reflecting that trend although other tradesmen like plasterers, plumbers,roofers were also in massive demand.

Many comments have been made on nationaltradesmen’s face book group about the lack of proper training over the last twenty years and how tradesmen are treated in the “recession” and in the “Good times” with many highlighting the short term thinking of governments and companies to blame for the current skill shortages.

Figures from CITB’s Construction Skills Network report show that 2,870 bricklaying jobs will be created every year between now and 2020.

Highlighting the improved wages which are on offer to those with the right skills, REC chief executive Kevin Green said construction workers can now expect to earn £34 more each week compared to last year.

He added: “Our data indicates that some employers are increasing pay faster as the competition for skilled workers intensifies.”

On the one hand, Mr Green said the wage improvements offer good news for the country’s builders and tradespeople.

But on the other hand, he said the current situation poses questions about how sustainable the trend is.

The expert said: “The UK is close to full employment and building firms are already struggling to find the people needed for major infrastructure projects.”

Looking at the longer-term picture, Mr Green said efforts must be made to tackle “deep-seated skills shortages” through measures including apprenticeships and improved careers guidance in schools.

Employers are also being urged to invest more in skills development, and more work experience opportunities could be made available across the construction sector.

Last year, CITB launched the industry’s careers website –  Go Construct – to help highlight the wide range of career opportunities available in construction.

CITB also recently announced over £7.5 million in targeted project funding to address the industry’s critical skills needs.

Responding to the findings, a representative from the Government’s Business Department said ministers are keen to give construction firms the power to deliver high-quality apprenticeships.

The spokesperson said apprenticeships “deliver the skills employers and the economy need for growth”.