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Skills Shortage Means 66% of Small Contractors Turning Down Work

The latest survey from the FMB revealed that 66% of small contractors are currently turning down new business due to a lack of skilled labour resource. It also revealed that almost half of firms have been forced to outsource work to third parties as opposed to leaving projects unfinished.

The areas worst affected are London and the South East, South West and the West Midlands.

London has a severe shortage of skilled bricklayers and carpenters and joiners, with 70% of firms in the area reporting a negative impact on business.

The South West has a shortage of painters and decorators, and the South East has a shortage of decorators and plumbers, affecting approximately 60% of firms.

The West Midlands has a shortage of scaffolders, affecting approximately 40-50% of businesses.

It is reported that this is due to both a lack of apprenticeships and a perception that wages for tradespeople are low.

The industry is calling out for multi-skilled tradespeople but perceptions need to be challenged and there is a distinct need for an increased awareness of options and opportunities within the construction industry amongst school leavers.

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