Recent reports have stated that the construction industry has the highest number of vacancies since 2001. But what is happening to cause this?

The Government figures state that self-employed members of the construction industry claimed the SEISS grant even when the industry was at a high. The grants totalled around £966 million, according to Construction News.

While these grants were offered, work hadn’t dried up, but supply chains, materials and people isolating meant that, although the contracts were there, there was a period of waiting, and for some workers, especially the self-employed, this meant waiting without pay!

We have lost some of our valuable members to other industries, but we still have one of the biggest workforces around. Now we have more vacancies to fill, but hopefully we’re starting to move in the right direction. The last few years have taken a toll, and we won’t recover instantly, but we will recover eventually.

What we have to remember is that there have been significant challenges in our industry, as well as many other industries. One of the biggest challenges we’ve had and are still having is the shortage of materials.

The biggest problem here is that some sites have had to stop because the materials are not available, but also because the materials sourced are much more expensive due to rise in costs. Not forgetting the shortages in certain skill sets, such as HGV drivers, meaning some deliveries are delayed even when materials are available.

This has not only impacted construction by halting progress, but also raised prices for our customers. We’re lucky because the construction industry is a progressive industry, meaning we are always moving forward with new technology, design and skill. Demand is still high, but supply levels and workers are at an all-time low. For now, at least!

Government contracts are also being blamed for negatively impacting our industry. We are held to ever increasing high energy efficiency standards, and quite rightly, but it’s just another pressure we have to add to the long list. There is another way of looking at this, the Government has enabled many people to improve their homes, people who would perhaps not have had the money to do so without the schemes available. By doing this, they have enlisted members of the construction industry to carry out said works, which has kept certain members of our industry in jobs. These contracts are given to both the private and public sector. Energy efficiency is paramount, and we should always ensure compliance to protect the future for the next generation.

So, it’s evident that our struggles are still here. We have a record high of vacancies and a record low of materials. With the rise in costs and delays in deliveries, expect some upheaval along the way.

According to the ONS, construction work decreased in August and fell below pre-pandemic levels. But honestly, we’re still in the aftermath, so that’s to be expected. As we have said, this will take a while to recover from, but recover we will!


Want more information? Or would you like a call back?