One in four subcontractors turning down work

Aaron Morby 3 years ago
Share

The number of specialist contractors struggling to recruit skilled labour is at its highest for 14 years according to the latest trade body survey.

As a result of the yawning skills gap over a quarter of firms say they are being forced to turn down work.

The alarming findings are highlighted in the latest National Specialist Contractors Council state of trade survey.

The capacity squeeze has hit home after significant increases in both enquiries and orders.

During the first quarter two thirds of specialist subcontractors reported an increase in enquiries, up 27% on the previous quarter, and just over half reported a rise in orders.

But nearly half of all specialists surveyed experienced more difficulty in recruiting skilled labour this year compared to just 2% who found it less difficult.

The balance of recruitment difficulty, measured as the difference between those reporting more and less difficulty, reached its highest level since 2001 because of a lack of applicants with required skills.

This skills shortage meant 28% of firms complained they were unable to bid for work, which is higher than at any time since the recession.

The skills crisis is continuing to impact on prices. A record 54% of respondents experienced an increase in tender prices last quarter, which has doubled since this time last year.

Suppliers’ prices are also rising in line with demand with 82% of specialist contractors seeing higher prices from their suppliers for the second quarter in a row.

Any uncertainty in the run up to last week’s election appears not to have undermined the confidence of specialist contractors with 65% anticipating an increase in workload in the next quarter and a record 78% anticipating an increase over the coming year.

NSCC chief executive Suzannah Nichol said: “The growing construction market is great news for specialists contractors but we need to tackle head-on the skills crisis that is facing the industry.

“If we do not invest in recruiting and training people with the right skills, the industry will not be able to meet demand and this will impact on the wider UK economy.”

Latest news

Final go-ahead for UK’s second tallest skyscraper in Croydon

Work to start on 68-storey twin tower scheme next summer
2 hours ago

McMullen Facades follows Lakesmere into administration

Firms circle to buy profitable cladding arm from administrators
23 hours ago

Clugston set to start £1.2bn Lincolnshire Lakes project

Excavation and engineering works set to begin early next year
21 hours ago

Van Elle boss to step down

Chief Jon Fenton to leave for family reasons as former owner plots boardroom coup
2 hours ago

Ban for dry lining boss who failed to declare £1.9m to HMRC

Seven-year director disqualification for Manchester specialist
2 hours ago

Derwent gains planning for two London schemes

Two West End projects will not start until early years of next decade
2 hours ago

Site discharge costs house builder £120,000

Environment Agency sends warning to construction companies in latest court case
3 hours ago

Sisk tipped for £88m Gatwick Airport hangar

Firm closes in on huge Boeing GoldCare hangar
1 day ago

Willmott Dixon to build first Passivhaus secondary school

Builder to start work on £36m Harris Academy Sutton in the New Year
1 day ago

Boost your online presence with the new Enquirer Directory

New site for suppliers and buyers will showcase their products, services and latest stories
3 weeks ago

18 jobs at risk as London roofing specialist fails

Essex-based Superior Roofing & Building Services placed in administration
1 day ago

Accounting watchdog launches probe into Mitie’s books

Investigation into preparation and approval of contractor’s 2016 financial statements
2 days ago

Severfield to supply small steelwork fabricators

Half-year profits soar as Severfield unveils plan to supply steel to small project
1 day ago

Renew profit slides after £6.4m gas mains exit hit

Flowing AMP6 water work boosts engineering services revenue
21 hours ago

£200m funding green light for Midland Metro extension

Theresa May launches £1.7bn city transport funding pot
2 days ago

Lendlease confirms £440m order for two London jobs

Order book swells with major Euston office revamp and 43-storey Pan Pacific hotel and flats
2 days ago

Union demands urgent talks over threat to Carillion jobs

Union Unite seeks meeting after profit warning and latest debt figures
2 days ago

Over 80 jobs lost as historic builder goes under

Around 80 job losses as Knowles & Son (Oxford) falls into administration
2 days ago

Clancy Docwra breaks even as profits slide

Civils firm caught in two significant contractual disputes
2 days ago

Wates bags one of Birmingham’s tallest resi buildings

Developer Regal signs £32m deal for second tower at Broad Street
2 days ago

Green light for Salford resi block trio

Developer Select Property will pick a contractor for Embankment West by the Spring
2 days ago

GF Tomlinson wins £16m Nottingham Uni biosciences job

Work is due to start on new laboratories and lecturer theatre in early 2018
2 days ago

Carillion warns on profits again as it breaches banking covenants

Contractor asks for more time from lenders as debts set to soar up to £925m
5 days ago

Chancellor vows to build 300,000 homes a year

Treasury reported to have found £5bn boost for housing schemes
2 days ago

Kier wins £35m Clydebank hospital project

Kier to start work early next year on first of two treatment centres for Golden Jubilee hospital
5 days ago

M&E specialists suffering from blight of retentions

Nearly a third of firms have up to 10% of their turnover locked-up in retentions
5 days ago

15 councils face action over local housing plans

Government set to intervene to force through local housebuilding plans
6 days ago

Betting Spy: Winning start for the Moyes boys?

West Ham are worth a go at 5/2 to turn up for their new boss
5 days ago

North to get own transport spending powers

Plan to give Transport for the North statutory powers from April a game-changer
6 days ago

White collar skills crisis strangling construction

Nearly two thirds of companies can't find Quantity Surveyors
6 days ago

Contractor services