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21st Jan 2022
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Labour shortages on the rise

by The Editor at 12:04 13/07/07 (News)
Labour shortages in the construction industry are at their highest level since 2005, according to the Federation of Master Builders (FMB) in its latest survey of members.
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The current skills shortage is almost entirely for threemain trades - bricklayers, carpenters and plasterers. During 2006 the proportion of FMB members reporting that they were experiencing difficulty obtaining sufficient labour averaged 40 per cent, which continued in the first quarter of 2007.

However, in the last three months (May to June), the proportion of FMB members indicating difficulty either recruiting direct employees or hiring sub-contractors had jumped to 53 per cent; its highest level since 2005.

Brian Berry, FMB External Affairs Director said: "What this survey reveals is that yet again our education system needs to be refocused to enable young people to have the skills which the UK is so badly lacking. Rather than just focusing on academic higher education the Government should be thinking more about enabling young people to learn a trade for which there is so much demandand which underpins the long term competitiveness of UKplc."

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The FMB survey also reveals that the number of firms reporting delays of more than two weeks in the supply of building materials has more than doubled from six per cent in the first quarter of 2007 to 16 per cent in the second quarter of 2007. The changes in material supply reflect the signs of a recovering workload, which have been apparent in the last three quarters.

More than four out of 10 firms reported a higher total workload in quarter two, and the same proportion expect workload to increase further in the third quarter. However, this positive picture masks regional variations, with the North East, North West and Eastern England and Wales falling behind the rest of the country

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Susie Hughes
The Editor Hardhatter 2007

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