The majority of builders have had to delay or cancel jobs because of a lack of skills or materials. A shocking 89% of local builders reported delays to jobs due to a lack of materials or skilled tradespeople, according to the latest State of Trade Survey from the Federation of Master Builders (FMB).
A shocking 89% of local builders have reported having to delay jobs due to a lack of materials or skilled tradespeople, according to the latest State of Trade Survey from the Federation of Master Builders (FMB).
Adding to the pressure facing the industry, 97% of builders have reported skyrocketing material prices and expect this to continue into the last quarter of 2021, with 78% passing this increased cost on to the consumer.
Builders have been forced to hit pause on some jobs, in the face of increasing difficulty to hire tradespeople, such as general labourers and plasterers, with 42% and 37% respectively of builders struggling to get them to a job. Despite a slight easing, near half of FMB members are also facing pressure to find carpenters/joiners and bricklayers.
The FMB State of Trade Survey, which is released quarterly, is the only survey of its kind to track the experience of small to medium-sized (SME) construction firms in the UK. It found:
Delays and cancellations
- 82% of builders have delayed jobs due to a lack of materials
- 60% have pressed pause due to a lack of skilled tradespeople
- Combined, 89% of builders have faced delays due to either materials or skills shortages
- 8% of builders have been forced to cancel jobs due to a lack of materials
- 12% have been cancelled due to a lack of skilled tradespeople
- 42% can’t get hold of general labourers, up 6% on last quarter
- 37% can’t hire plasterers, a rise of 6% on last quarter
- 47% of builders are struggling to hire carpenters/joiners, down 6% on last quarter
- 45% are struggling to hire bricklayers, a fall of 2% on last quarter
- 97% of builders are facing material price rises, with 93% expecting this to continue into Q4
- 77% of respondents have been forced to raise their prices in the past quarter
Brian Berry, Chief Executive of the FMB, said: “Today’s FMB State of Trade Survey shows a damning situation for the building industry, with 89% of builders facing delays and some cancelling work altogether, due to a lack of materials or skills.”
Berry continued: “The Government should use the Budget and Spending Review to tackle the growing skills gap. Effective efforts to help the haulage industry ease the supply of materials are also needed. This will help our members get back to building and help the post pandemic economic recovery.”
Berry concluded: “Our data shows the combination of long delays and rising prices mean consumers are also starting to feal the heat. Changing quotes, delays to jobs, and price hikes may lead to some homeowners being pulled in by unscrupulous builders hoping to make a quick buck. A good builder is a busy builder and it is important for consumers to be patient when selecting a builder.”
Notes to editors
The Federation of Master Builders (FMB) is the largest trade association in the UK construction industry representing thousands of firms in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. Established in 1941 to protect the interests of small and medium-sized (SME) construction firms, the FMB is independent and non-profit making, lobbying for members’ interests at both the national and local level.
The FMB is a source of knowledge, professional advice and support for its members, providing a range of modern and relevant business building services to help them succeed. The FMB is committed to raising quality in the construction industry and offers a free Find a Builder service to consumers.