When you look at the construction sector in UK these days, you find that there aren’t any skilled trades that doesn’t lack workers.
That phenomenon is stalling building projects, and the cost of labour is rising drastically. Add to this the global disruption od the supply chains, making it hard to get the necessary material to build, and you find yourself with a sector in crisis.
Too Many Elements went Wrong at the Same Time
It could have been possible to foresee what is happening today, by taking a step back and looking at the evolving situation of the UK, in the last few years. That’s because the acute shortage of skilled people is in part due to the new harsher rules to get a work visa. That could be solved in the mid-term by a strong push on domestic training, but since construction is not the only sector in need of employees, it might not be the solution that would work best.
As for the lack of material available on the supply chain, that isn’t a UK problem per say, as the whole world has slowed down during the repeated lockdowns, and laws made by worldwide governments have reduced the number of employees available in many sectors. But there are solutions that can be found by managers. For example, creating a storage space on site still can be done easily today, through the use of container solutions, that can be build up and taken down at will (more info on this page). Which goes to prove that builders don’t need to look elsewhere sometimes, then in their own backyard.
Promises that can’t be kept
Maybe the biggest problem that has risen from this situation, is that it reflects the opposite of what the government of Boris Johnson had promised people, during the election. He said, back then, that his party would make sure that 300,000 homes would be built every year. Now, this promise seems impossible to remain true, as reality hits. The slogan he had for his campaign (build back better) is now being laughed at by his detractors but also from the general population who sees their construction project being pushed back.
As for the builders, they certainly would like to be able to deliver the goods, but the rising costs is making it harder for them to finish houses and other buildings at the cost that they bid on, before they got the contract. This issue will not go away any time soon either so the world of construction may be in for the long haul, this time.