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We are all becoming increasingly aware of the impact of material and labour shortages within the construction sector.

UK construction activity has continued to increase this year from an already robust position post Christmas 2020 with infrastructure, repair and maintenance driving demand.

A number of warnings have been issued that the situation is likely to get worse before it gets better and there are strong indications that demand will continue to grow over the next six months.

Material shortages have been driven by global and domestic supply and demand. Products currently affected include timber, steel, plastics, paints & coatings and now some core insulants including stone wool and PIR.

In addition to longer lead times, there is the obvious additional impact on prices with the ONS projecting a 7%– 8% further increase with some materials, e.g. timber expected to more than double in price during the course of this year.

CLC are calling for our industry to work collaboratively to manage demand by:

  • working with suppliers through allocation, ensuring that companies, both, large and small are treated fairly.
  • ensuring accurate and timely communications in your supply chain – do not over order unnecessarily, whilst urging manufacturers not to promise delivery dates that cannot be achieved only to cancel and short notice.

The full statement from Construction Leadership Council can be seen here.

Build UK have reported their intention to ‘lobby the migration advisory committee for a more nuanced approach to immigration’ (Financial Times, June 2014). A number of recent publications highlight again the well known statistics of the ageing demographic of our workforce, with half a million workers expected to retire in the next 10 to 15 years.

We must face head on the challenge of attracting new entrants into our sector, offering a quality training programme and providing an attractive working environment to ensure we meet our sector skills needs of the future.

With construction output forecast to continue to rise in the coming 2 – 3 years, unless we address the labour challenges, then the road ahead will look bleak …. and expensive!

I want to remind members that our apprentice calendar for 2021 has set September aside for inductions specifically to allow members who qualify in England for the apprentice incentive grant of £3,000, to do so.

If you have not already considered recruitment of apprentices and wish to do so, please speak to the recruitment team at TICA who will be waiting to assist you. You can contact TICA for recruitment assistance at:

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