1 in 2 builders report surge in summer workloads, says FMB

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Builders report a busy summer thanks to strong levels of consumer demand for repair and maintenance works, according to a new survey by the Federation of Master Builders (FMB)

One in two builders reported a surge in workloads during the summer months, the research has revealed.

More than two in five predict higher workloads in the autumn. While 78% said they expect material costs to increase over the next two months.

The survey also highlighted that only 17% of SME builders are planning to ease the number of general labourers on-site in the months ahead, and 16% are planning to increase the number of specialist tradespeople on site.

Workloads bounce back

Brian Berry, chief executive of the FMB, said: “Builders’ workloads bounced back in the summer, as pent up demand for home upgrades and more domestic space fuelled activity.

“However, builders in other sectors are struggling, especially those working on social new build housing and on public buildings.

“To sustain recovery in the private repair, maintenance and improvement sector a national energy efficiency retrofit strategy is needed that will not only generate thousands of new jobs across the country but also help the government’s commitment to create a greener economy.”

Berry added: “With a healthy proportion of builders forecasting higher workloads in the autumn months, and almost 1 in 5 looking to recruit, there is clearly a demand for new jobs in the industry.

“Young people taking their next steps after school should consider an apprenticeship in construction, and those seeking a career change will also find new opportunities.

“Expected increases in material prices are a concern as builders have been reporting skyrocketing prices for years now.

“As we lead up to Brexit, we need to ensure that the supply chain is in step and that builders can access the materials they need.”

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