Temporary visa’s needed to tackle construction labour shortage


Gleeds backs Sadiq Khan’s call to introduce a temporary visa scheme to tackle the ongoing construction labour shortage

Gleeds latest market report revealed that 80% of contractors have experienced labour shortages during the past quarter. Nearly 70% are expecting it to continue to negatively impact the industry going forward.

The report predicts an average inflationary rise of up to 5% in London and 3.5% elsewhere. It also found that 86% of respondents do not believe that the industry has seen the full impact of Brexit and the worst is yet to come.

‘Labour shortages are not being addressed by the government’

Graham Harle, chief executive officer of Gleeds, said: “We are not making a political point, but our survey shows real issues with labour shortages across UK construction which are not currently being addressed by the government who are distracted by other issues.

“The London Mayor is accurate when he says that our recovery will be put at risk if there isn’t a skilled workforce available to build.

‘Construction is vital to economic recovery’

“Construction is absolutely vital to driving the economic recovery of the nation and Gleeds’ market reports have shown an escalation in the problem of labour availability – with 80% of contractor respondents experiencing problems at the end of 2021, compared to just 17.5% this time last year.”

James Garner, head of data, insights and analytics who helped compile the report said: “As availability continues to dwindle, pay rates will continue to shoot up, with labour replacing materials as the primary driver in cost increases this year.

“Quite rightly, the pre-occupation has been with materials costs and price hikes, all of which we see reflected in our data at the start of 2022.

“However, whilst we think the issues around materials will begin to settle in the coming year, all our research would indicate that wage inflation is going to continue to impact project costs for the foreseeable future.”


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