Shortages in the Construction Industry Continue to Persist

With recent issues regarding HGV drivers dominating the news, attention now turns to how this will continue to effect industries across the UK. One such example is the shortages in the construction industry that look set to continue well into the New Year.

Many industries are feeling the effects of both material and HGV driver shortages, as well increased price hikes. The construction industry has been a prominent industry that has faced these challenges, and they look set to continue in the coming months. According to a study carried out by IHS Markit and the Chartered Institute of Procurement and Supply, the shortages have affected the whole of the UK construction sector – both trade and consumer side. Consumer leaders in the home renovation sector such as B&Q and Ikea have recently stated that they are having supply chain issues, with Ikea reportedly purchasing extra containers to try and resolve product shortages. Housebuilder Taylor Wimpey recently commented in an article that it is passing on all its soaring costs to customers, however they feel there has been an ‘easing in certain areas’ and it expects conditions to gradually improve.

Coronavirus has led to a huge backlog in HGV driving tests which means there are fewer people qualified to deliver goods to consumers. The Midlands-based joinery company WJL recently carried out a supplier survey investigating shortages in the construction industry, which unsurprisingly listed COVID, staff shortages and lack of HGV drivers for the recent material shortage. The survey also showed that over 60% of people think that price rises do not seem to be slowing down. 

Construction workers on scaffolding in the sunset
Construction worker shortages are concerning for the industry

It has been stated by the BBC that the government are planning on investing almost £2bn into building new homes on derelict or unused land. At first glance, this may seem that the future of construction is looking bright, however this is questionable. The funding is not the problem, the lack of skilled workers is. COVID and Brexit are once again the main reasons for this. When the various lockdowns arose, many European tradespeople left the UK to go back to their native homes and therefore caused a massive gap in the construction industry. The lockdowns have also had a negative impact on those training within the industry, with many apprentices or trainees restricted with their training. 

Josie Davies, Business Development Director, comments: “We still have a way to go before the construction industry is out of the other side of what can only be described as a nightmare! It’s been a double whammy with Covid and Brexit and the ripple effect these have both caused will take some time to overcome. We are adding new job roles daily as our clients continue to make progress out of this situation, but it is hard, as getting the qualified and skilled individuals in is difficult. As a recruitment agency, that is highly frustrating and it’s one of the reasons, as a business, our Driving division have invested in a new state-of-the-art portable driving simulator to help train people to become HGV drivers. Our team is dedicated to supporting our clients and helping individuals secure jobs. We would welcome anyone looking for a role within the construction industry to get in touch with us.” 

For more information about vacancies, please do not hesitate to contact the team. 


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