‘There’s an already-growing squeeze on unskilled workers; what we’ve seen is labour rates already creeping up, particular labourers, because we’re finding it harder to find eastern European workers’ – Darin Burrows, director of recruitment agency City Sites.
Industry experts are predicting 2021 to be a fruitful and financially rewarding year for construction workers, as demand for skilled tradespeople increases rapidly.
If there was ever a good time to cash in on the lifeboat that is the construction industry, then this is the year to do so. Experts and industry leaders have predicted that a 10% rise in cost for labourers and skilled tradespeople is on the way for in 2021.
That’s right. Tradespeople are effectively being awarded a 10% pay rise. And it’s highly deserved, of course; over the last year, construction workers have been among the often unsung heroes of our communities, keeping the economy and the country afloat, giving it a much-needed boost and providing essential services.
But how has this good fortune come about, and what will it mean for those working within the industry?
The primary reason for this positive development for tradespeople, is that since the onset of Covid, demand for tradespeople has increased massively. But this higher demand has collided with a significant decrease in the number of workers from Europe. The Office for National Statistics has shown that, in the aftermath of Brexit, 25% of the UK’s EU-born construction workforce left the industry between September 2019 and September 2020.
This has left a gaping hole in a workforce already struggling to cope with an enormous workload and project demand; EU nationals previously made up as much as 80% of the labour workforce for recruitment agencies such as Darin Burrows’s City Sites, and such a large decrease means that the UK is desperate for more construction workers.
Major towns and cities in the UK have been hit particularly hard by this shortage; contractors in London and Birmingham, such as the London-based contractor Golden Houses, have had to bring in workers from out of town in a desperate scramble to meet labour demands, from areas further afield such as Leicester and Nottingham.
But this is, of course, very good news for construction workers and those looking to get into the trade industry. And why? Because the skills and services you can offer are now in far more limited supply, and so are valued much higher. That is, you’ll be getting paid more than you would have before – a whopping 10% more.
This means that the UK’s construction workforce will have far more control, freedom, and success in their work; they have more power to set their rates, another reason why the construction industry is incredibly appealing for employment and working opportunities.
The construction industry’s remarkable performance in the post-Covid world has been widely commented upon, as it has continued to employ thousands of people across the country, and in many respects carry on as normal. In fact, the construction industry was one of two UK industries to report a higher number of job vacancies compared to the same in 2019.
And now, not only has the construction industry recovered from the initial blow of Covid’s initial months with more job vacancies, but it has provided its workers with this much needed financial boost. It has given thousands of people the rare security of well-paid, guaranteed work. And the importance of this cannot go unstressed: in times like these, the construction industry is completely invaluable to those who need the stability of a long-term career.
We can make you that promise: that qualifying as a tradesperson will keep you busy and earning for years to come. Access Training can make sure that you benefit from this increase in rates; Access Training can give you a long-lasting and fulfilling career, with lifelong skills; Access Training can get you where you want to be in your career. All it takes is a call.
Learn your trade. Get qualified. Make it happen.