Building boost

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The Federation of Master Builders’ (FMB) survey of small- to medium-sized (SME) construction firms in the UK found that enquiries with local building firms increased at their fastest rate in a decade. 

However, this boost is not without its challenges; respondents also reported significant difficulties with skills and construction material shortages. Some 38% of builders are struggling to hire bricklayers, up from 22% in Q4 2020; 34% are struggling to hire carpenters/joiners, up from 23% in Q4 2020; and 93% of builders said that material prices were rising.

Brian Berry, Chief Executive of the FMB, said: “With the construction skills shortage slowly creeping back up the agenda, it’s clear that there is significant capacity in the sector to take on new entrants and create much-needed jobs. I am bitterly disappointed at the decision to cancel the Green Homes Grant scheme, which offered an opportunity to not only bring more people into construction but also to tackle climate change. The government’s answer to this must be a long-term National Retrofit Strategy, which has the backing of industry from the outset.”    

Read the full report at bit.ly/FMBStateOfTrade

Image credit | iStock

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