Plumbers Engineers and builders are needed to address the problem of a worrying skills gap that threatens the recovery of the UK economy.
It has been described as the biggest skills shortage for a generation. The construction industry has been hit particularly hard, with some of the largest construction firms having to turn down bidding opportunities due to a shortage of skilled labour.
According to the federation of Master Builders (FMB) latest “State of Trade” survey for Q4 2014, small construction firms are having difficulty recruiting specialist tradesmen. The repercussions mean that projects are being put on hold and soaring costs for the most in demand professions such as bricklayers and plumbers.
Plumbers needed in London
There is a serious shortage of good, experienced plumbers inside the M25. The price of a good plumber has increased due to demand leading to a drive to find new apprentices and talent to give the industry a boost.
Because of this good plumbers are charging a lot more for their services, some earning up to £100,000 according to Pimlico Plumbers.
Often plumbers from all over the UK outside London will come down to work here as there is never a shortage of work and earnings of £1000 per week are common place.
Some construction firms are hiring tradesmen from abroad, often at up to double their normal wages.
At the end of 2013 around 27% of firms said they were struggling to recruit bricklayers, in 2015 that now stands at 42%. It’s the same story where carpenters and joiners are concerned. 23% of firms said they struggled in Q4 2013. That figure now stands at 44% in 2015.
Since the economic downturn in 2007 around 400,000 skilled construction workers and tradesmen have left industry, many will not return to the industry. This and, according to The Union of Construction Allied Trades and Technicians, the failure to train new apprentices of the last 30 years, is the reason for the growing skills gap.
In 2013 the number of apprentices that completed their training across all trades, was an alarmingly low 7,280. The industry needs an estimated 35,000 new entrants just to stand still and that figure is expected to grow as the sector continues to recover.
Analysis by the Royal Academy of engineering suggests Britain will need more than a million new engineers and technicians by 2020. This will require a doubling of the current number of annual engineering graduates and apprentices.
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