Recruiters warning: Labour shortages could raise rates by 10%

A decrease in the number of EU-born workers in the UK construction industry, combined with an increase in demand, has created a restriction on the workforce. Contractors are finding it more difficult to hire workers at existing rates and are facing cost increases. The difficulties finding labour, following a drop in the number of EU-born workers in the UK, are likely to raise rates by at least 10 %, recruiters have warned.

Recent data from the Office for National Statistics revealed that more than 1 in 4 EU-born construction workers had left the industry between September 2019 and September 2020.

ONS data also showed that construction vacancies in the last quarter of the year had reached pre-pandemic levels. Construction was just one of two industries that reported a higher level of vacancies compared to the same period in 2019.

The labour shortage is not uniform across the UK, with major cities hit the hardest. Contractors in major cities like London and Birmingham face the biggest challenge in getting good workers at current prices.

This mismatch between supply and demand in the cities is causing workers to be brought in from further afield.

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