Philippa Myall-Chance, Business Development Manager with GoContractor, discusses how the UK construction industry is already suffering from the consequences of Brexit, more problems which could occur in the future and what should be done to deal with these problems.
With some companies now postponing building projects because of economic uncertainty, one of the major consequences of Brexit which has already been noticed is the fall in construction output by 0.5% in the 3rd quarter of 2017, mainly a result of this decreasing number of projects occurring.
Consequences of Brexit which are most likely to occur in the future include:
- A growing loss of skilled and unskilled workers in all sectors of an industry that already relies heavily on foreign migrant labour, with less workers being available through restriction of movement within the EU.
- Skilled workers necessary to the construction industry demanding higher pay.
- A growing decline in housebuilding having a negative effect on the current housing crisis, especially in London.
Current problems which are likely to make these possible Brexit consequences worse, include:
- The weak pound falling against the euro and the dollar, increasing the price of imported building materials.
- A rising skills shortage through the ageing workforce, with many skilled workers now reaching retirement.
- A lack of young workers, who have any interest in entering the industry.
- Still an unpopular industry for women to join.
A post-Brexit deal is recommended, permitting the easy movement of EU workers in the construction industry so that skilled workers are still available.
The steps recommended in this video, which companies can use to deal with these possible Brexit consequences are:
- Providing more training and internships to deal with the current skills gap.
- Making it an industry-wide initiative to attract more women and young workers into the industry.