Japa: Acute Shortage of bricklayers, roofers, carpenters hits UK

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The United Kingdom, UK is struggling with an acute shortage of bricklayers and other construction workers, causing prolonged delays for homeowners seeking building services.

Since 2021, a staggering 415,000 people have experienced over a year-long wait to secure a builder, according to a national construction audit by Fix Radio.

The shortage extends beyond builders, with 301,000 households waiting a year for plumbers and heating engineers, 294,000 for roofers, and 274,000 for carpenters.

On average, the wait for a bricklayer over the past three years has exceeded three months, while landscapers, painters, and decorators have left customers waiting for two and a half months, according to reports from reliable quarters.

Industry experts highlight the severe impact of this skills shortage on major projects, including delays in completing the Co-op Live venue in Manchester.

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To meet rising demand, an additional 225,000 skilled workers are to be needed by 2027 with economic repercussions significant as the UK is projected to miss out on £98 billion of growth by 2030 due to the skills gap.

The ageing workforce exacerbates the issue, with a fifth of construction workers now over 50 and a third planning to retire by 2030.

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The Construction Industry Training Board’s Construction Skills Network estimates nearly one million trades people will retire in the next decade. While migrant labour has somewhat mitigated the shortages, there is an urgent need to train more British workers.

Last year, bricklayers, plasterers, roofers, and carpenters were added to the Home Office’s shortage occupation list to address the deficit.

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