Today's ONS figures, which show a 2.2% drop in construction output, expose the growing impact of the construction skills shortage, according to the Federation of Master Builders (FMB).
Brian Berry, Chief Executive of the FMB, said: "The latest figures from the ONS will shake away any complacency that the recovery in the construction industry can be taken for granted. The inadequate number of skilled workers remains one of the greatest barriers to construction firms of all sizes being able to grow and prosper – this contraction in construction output could, in part, stem from the increased cost pressures that businesses face as a result of labour scarcity."
Berry continued: "However, the ONS figures should be approached with an element of caution. This is the first fall in output for more than two years and business sentiment remains positive. Indeed, the FMB's latest State of Trade Survey for Q3 2015 (PDF) marks the tenth consecutive quarter of growth in the SME sector. We look forward to hearing the Chancellors plans for the industry in November’s Spending Review. Comprehensive measures on apprenticeships, housing and planning need to move forward for construction to continue to drive growth across the wider UK economy as it has in recent years"