With the general uncertainty associated with Brexit, 66% of industry contacts surveyed by property and construction consultancy Gleeds believe this will have a negative impact on the UK construction industry. So, what can be done to deal with these problems?
This video goes into possible solutions in more detail, e.g. the increase in prefabrication to speed up construction. Hopefully this will make it easier to construct the 300,000 homes a year which the government is committed to building annually by 2020.
Some of the other reasons why these problems for the UK construction industry should be dealt with now and could become worse through Brexit, include:
- An increase in import costs.
- Labour shortage.
- Possible restrictions to free trade for imported materials.
- Trouble trading with EU subcontractors and suppliers.
It was seen in 2015, that this labour shortage is already an issue, when migrant workers in the EU went home for Christmas. With certain problems, such as the fall in sterling making the UK a less attractive country to work in, there were fears that these workers might not return. This was a warning pointed out by the Federation of Master Builders (FMB) when the industry was having trouble finding skilled workers such as bricklayers, carpenters, supervisors and site managers at this time.
With this being a problem as far back as 2015, Michael Cracknell, director in a capital projects advisory team, states:
“If Brexit puts EU workers off coming to the UK, we could see labour costs rising significantly. If demand for construction remains high, this could be a concern.”
Some of the solutions that are brought up in this video include an increase in the use of digital tools such as advanced data analytics, which can be introduced into business operations, hopefully improving productivity in the UK construction industry. This video by GoContractor outlines the alarming effects Brexit could have on the UK construction industry and how these problems can be solved.