The past few months of 2022 have been busy for Master Builder companies in the South. Here, FMB South Director Phil Hodge provides an update on current industry issues and support services available to members in the region.

State of Trade in the South

Following the Area Board meeting in February where there were indications of an easing of some material shortages, we are now entering uncharted territory again with the conflict in Ukraine. The conflict is already having an impact on world commodity markets and will likely cause further disruption in the price stability of key building materials. View our updates on building material pricing and availability to keep up to date.

Health & Safety: protect your life and those of others

The construction sector is one of the most hazardous industries in the UK, where accidents can cause serious injuries or even claim a life. In many incidences, accidents could have been avoided if simple health and safety procedures had been observed such as wearing the correct PPE, erecting barriers, conducting regular safety audits, and completing workforce training.

FMB South has been part of the Working Well Together initiative for a number of years and we’re now planning to re-introduce the popular half-day “toolbox” demos across the region. Topics will include working at heightgroundworksnoise & vibration and hazardous materials handling, to name but a few. We’ll be keeping you informed of event dates soon or email Phil if you'd like to discuss.

Job matching for trainees and apprentices

With a shortage of labour in the building trade, would you consider using a matching service to find trainees and apprentices in your area who are immediately available to work for you?

A job matching service could provide essential experience for much-needed up-and-coming building professionals and could help you fill your labour gaps. We’re interested in knowing if you’d consider using a service of this sort. Contact [email protected] with your comments and suggestions.

Tool theft: it’s not just others that it happens to

FMB South recently discussed on regional BBC Radio the severe effects that tool theft has on small businesses in the wake of the heart-breaking news story of Charlie Westcott, one of the many thousands of tradespeople who are victims of this crime.

The FMB is actively campaigning for measures to be taken to discourage stolen tools being passed on through resale sites and person-to-person. Meanwhile, the message is clear – be alert, check your security options and consider business continuity insurance in the event of becoming a victim. For more information, check out our guidance on how to secure your van and prevent tool theft and what you need to know about making a tool theft claim

Tool theft not only threatens your business but can also affect your mental health through stress and anxiety. For mental health support, remember that The Lighthouse Club (which is the FMB's national charity partner) provides free and confidential mental, physical and financial wellbeing support to those in construction. 


Phil Hodge

Phil Hodge

Director, FMB South, Federation of Master Builders