Bricklayers across the UK construction industry are apparently ‘in the money’ for now. Last week, the Recruitment and Employment Confederation reported that bricklayers were being paid £25 an hour, and in some cases £1,000 per week. However, according to One Way, construction industry recruitment specialists, this is temporary as the real reason behind the spike in pay is a shortage of skilled contractors, rather than an increase in demand.
Paul Payne, managing director of One Way said, “This is excellent news for bricklayers across the UK who are likely to be pretty pleased with their hugely increased earning potential. However, this is a bubble and the rise is solely related to the lack of professionals in the market, rather than any huge uptick in productivity or demand.”
The UK construction is walking a tightrope as the market is understocked with available talent and eventually either the productivity will be impacted or budgets will have to be increased to account for these pay rates, he stated.
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It is essential to notice that this temporary increase in demand could put many construction projects under enormous pressure as construction firms and housebuilders that pay bricklayers £1,000 per week won’t be able to keep up those pay rates for very long.
The government has taken a small step in the right direction through the upcoming apprenticeship levy but if the construction industry doesn’t personally take steps to meet staffing shortages, the productivity will be affected, Brexit or no Brexit, concluded Mr Payne.
Earlier this year, the Government Construction Strategy 2016 announced its plan to deliver £1.7 billion efficiencies and 20,000 apprenticeships.
Among other construction projects, the UK government has ambitious plans to create 200,000 starter homes by 2020.
Overall the UK construction industry is predicted to create 190,000 new jobs by the end of 2018.
This bonus pay rate for bricklayers is at odds with the news that Citigroup and Barclays, financial service providers, are asking their IT contractors to take massive rate cuts of up to 20% or lose their contracts.