Construction skills shortage boosts pay

Labour shortages have been reported by 46% of construction professionals.
Labour shortages have been reported by 46% of construction professionals.

Construction skills shortages are pushing wages in the sector far above the national average, but could also put Yorkshire and Humber’s biggest housing and infrastructure programmes at risk.

That’s the key finding of a survey by RICS (Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors).

The quarterly survey shows 61 per cent of construction professionals in Yorkshire and Humber have reported wage rises in the sector. Average construction earnings have risen by more thansix per cent in the year to October – a marked increase on the average UK wage rise over the same period of under two per cent.

Labour shortages were reported by 46 per cent of construction professionals in Yorkshire and Humber to be the most significant barrier to growth in the last quarter of 2015, with 62 per cent of the region’s survey respondent’s reporting a shortage of quantity surveyors and 48 per cent highlighting a lack of bricklayers.

Corderoy’s Chris Campbell, chairman of the RICS Yorkshire and Humber Quantity Surveying and Construction Group, said: “While workloads are still growing at a relatively healthy pace, labour shortages in our region’s construction sector is causing delays at different stages in the development process and leading to significant problems with project planning, all of which is proving an impediment to growth.

“That said, industry wages are becoming increasingly attractive. I would hope that over time this will encourage skilled workers to return.”