Don’t let construction sector labour shortages derail your business 

Shortages of construction workers have been widely reported as the UK seeks to build back better from the Covid-19 pandemic.

In May, recruitment firm Hays claimed vacancies in construction had risen by 50%, while the Federation of Master Builders said last month that over one third of its members were struggling to recruit bricklayers and carpenters.

And over the last few weeks, the rise in Covid-19 cases – and the associated pingdemic – has been side-lining workers who were on site.

If you haven’t done so already, now could be the time to review your contracts and those with your suppliers to address the issues of increased labour costs and any delays to your projects caused by labour supply chain problems.

The chances are that, by September, labour shortages – coupled with materials shortages – could increase. Projects which have been put on the shelf during the pandemic are going to be re-starting and projects with delayed starts will get up and running.

You will almost certainly need longer lead-in times as you embark on new contracts – and you need to be in shape and ready to go if you wish to take advantage of the new opportunities coming on stream.

ProQs can help you to reassess your business model

– we will review risk factors such as shortages of the right skills and qualifications in the labour force and subsequent wage increases for skilled workers.

It’s a chance to assess your risk profile and the vulnerability of your business to factors like labour costs and shortages, especially with reduced numbers of EU workers in the industry. It may also be timely to look at how you can future-proof your business as construction faces up to an ageing  workforce.

Is your business attractive to new employees, have you considered an apprenticeship scheme or other government labour-force incentives? Have you factored in wage rises, potential delays, training time for new employees and even poor workmanship?

At ProQS, our RICS-regulated experts can help you to review all your commercial risks. Contact us today on 01206 654003 or email:

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