Despite builders’ workloads being at a ten year high, contractors still have to contend with rising material prices and a continuous labour and skills shortage, especially for sourcing carpenters and bricklayers.
This perfect storm for future building work was explained and presented in detail in the Federation of Master Builders’ (FMB) latest State of Trade Survey published today [2 August].
“Today’s FMB State of Trade Survey tells a tale of extremes,” said Brian Berry, chief executive of the FMB. “While it’s brilliant to see small, local building companies and sole traders bouncing back from the difficulties of 2020, record workloads and enquires are bringing significant challenges.
“An extraordinary 98% of small builders now face rising prices for building materials, with the same number expecting this to continue into the autumn. Half of those who responded to our survey are struggling to hire a carpenter or a bricklayer. Without these fundamental inputs, how can Britain build back better?”
The Survey found:
Prices and costs
Commenting on the findings, Brian concluded: “In the absence of greater support from government and industry to explain to consumers why prices are going up, I fear a growing number putting themselves at the mercy of cowboy builders seeking to undercut quality tradespeople. To address the skills crisis so starkly presented by this new data, industry efforts to encourage more people into construction must be supported at the Spending Review with further investment in colleges.”