Ask anyone trying to get on the housing ladder and they’ll tell you Britain is in a housing crisis – for many, home ownership has become an unaffordable dream. Too few homes; many too expensive to the average earner, or in the wrong place, and of poor quality. To compound the problem, not enough new houses are being built.
The building industry has long been aware of the crisis. The Construction Industry Training Board (CITB) forecasts that an extra 224,000 builders and other workers will be needed over the next five years as the construction sector rebounds after being rocked to its foundations by the financial crisis.
With such demand, it would appear that construction is in rude health, but the truth is that the industry is suffering terrible growing pains.
Only 140,000 new homes were started in the last 12 months, 100,000 short of the requirement. The Federation of Master Builders (FMB) reported last week that two out of three small builders have turn down work because the can’t get staff with the skills they need. Bricklayers are most in demand.
Wages are being driven up by the dearth of skilled staff, although there are some signs that new blood is beginning to come into the industry to replace those who left.
One of those is Adam Harris, a former corporal in the RAF. The 30-year-old spent 11 years in the forces before retraining as bricklayer.
“The skills shortage is driving up the wages that bricklayer can earn, which is an exciting prospect for me”, he said. “I’ve heard rumors of people earning upwards of £1,000 a week”
Over the course of this year, a 3.4% improvement in workloads in now expected, while the number of construction job opportunities is predicted to improve by 3%
So… Now is Your Time to Apply for a course in Brickwork and build an exciting career path.
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