Surge in demand, but where’s the labour?

As the construction industry sees surging demand with further growth anticipated, it is experiencing unprecedented challenges in increasing capacity, with shortages of labour and materials, shows a new report.

Building Trends published by property consultancy Bidwells shows how construction firms are experiencing major challenges when it comes to having projects completed on time and to budget, due to increased demand and a surge in activity.

Almost 100% of respondents reported an increase in development and construction activity with new business opportunities of between three and eight per month during 2013, rising to 10 per month in the first quarter of 2014.

And with over 50% of contractors expecting new opportunities to rise further over the next two years, its clear its going to be a busy time for the industry.

Recruitment wise, 80% of respondents reported active recruitment for on-site roles and 40% recruiting for pre-construction and estimating positions.

This, together with a shortage of materials, bricks, blocks and timber, will mean construction costs will increase, says Richard Pilsworth, partner and head of building consultancy at Bidwells. He highlights how many firms will simply not have the number of skilled laborers available to participate in tenders and carry out the work.

Pilsworth said: “Increasing labour costs due to contractors having to recruit to ensure they can deliver on their contracts and price hikes in bricks, blocks and timber will have a major effect on the industry.”

Your News

If you've got a story that would be of interest to Builder & Engineer readers, send us an email


2017-05-31 13:33

The rate of Insurance Premium Tax (IPT) will rise by two per cent on June 1 to 12 per cent on all non-exempt transactions. Martin Bennison, managing director at construction finance firm Ultimate Finance, explains what this means for UK construction companies.

2017-05-25 08:41

Building Information Modelling (BIM) is growing in popularity and is now mandatory for centrally funded public-sector projects. Experts and the curious are gathering more and more frequently at dedicated congresses, exhibitions and workshops. Many people are now asking: Where does the UK stand on the issue of BIM and the digitisation of the construction industry?

2017-05-10 10:47

Opening site doors to more females is vital to plugging the construction skills gap, reports Claire Cameron

THE construction industry continues to be plagued by a well-documented skills gap with some suggesting the shortage could get worse before it gets better.

2017-05-08 14:27

If you work on a building site, are self-employed or have a zero-hours contract, you might be surprised to know you work in the ”gig economy”. This is the economy characterised by temporary work and irregular hours, pay and working conditions.

2017-03-29 10:31

Jeremy Gould, VP sales Europe, TomTom Telematics, discusses how technological developments in vehicle telematics have opened up new workflow management possibilities for the construction industry

2017-03-21 09:31

With the demand of oil increasing, it’s estimated that the Earth will reach its full capacity for oil consumption at some point within the next 20 years. This is despite the production of oil decreasing, and the construction industry is no exception to this, reports Niftylift.

2017-03-17 10:55

With construction firms leading the way in drone technology, Claire Cameron takes a closer look at how unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) can be used onsite

2017-03-07 16:20

While the physical safety of workers is prioritised on construction sites, mental health is often overlooked, reports Claire Cameron

Free E-newsletter Sign-Up

Sign up for our free e-newsletter

Looking for a company or service?