In today’s news, we will look into the United Kingdom, where there are about 140,000 vacant positions in the construction trades due to a lack of skilled workers. Meanwhile, the Sisk UK construction division experiences a reduction in revenue. On the other hand, the government of the United Kingdom has given its approval for the construction of a motorway tunnel close to Stonehenge. Furthermore, as a result of Bam’s reorganization, some of the construction company’s 1,100 employees will lose their jobs. Moreover, construction workers from other countries can apply for visas to work in the UK.
UK Building Trades Have 140,000 Vacancies
Original Source: Skills shortage reaches 140,000 vacancies in construction trades in the UK
Builders, electricians, and plumbers are in demand with 140,000 construction trade jobs.
Construction trade vacancies top 140,000, affecting UK construction.
Metals4u compared Indeed, Totaljobs, and LinkedIn job postings to find the most in-demand trade skills.
Over 65,000 job openings on popular job sites are for builders, electricians, and plumbers.
This shortfall is projected to worsen since the UK is expected to be the fastest expanding larger building market of the major Western European nations over the next 15 years, reaching £381bn sales in 2023.
The top tradespeople were:
- Builders (52,113 openings)
- Electricians (12,005)
- Plumbers (11,928)
- Gas Engineer (9,873 openings)
- Floor Layer (7,812 openings)
- Painter (7,597)
- Carpenters (6,997)
- (5,887 openings)
- (5,729 openings)
- Roofer (4,547)
With less than 2,000 job advertisements per trade, plasterers, bricklayers, and tilers are doing well.
Joiners were most desired in Edinburgh and Leeds, gas engineers in Birmingham and Liverpool, and floor contractors in London.
Vacancies predict the future.
According to an industry assessment, 937,000 new construction and trade workers will be needed by 2032 to meet demand.
“Construction, building, and metal materials have been in heavy demand in the UK over the last few years, with increased development in residential and commercial properties,” said metals4U chairman Paul McFadyen. Due to a dearth of qualified builders and other professionals and rising demand, severe challenges are arising.
A recent FMB State of Trade survey found that 60% of jobs are stopped owing to labor shortages, and this is projected to persist in the construction industry as more houses are built.”
Sisk UK Construction Losses
Original Source: Sisk UK construction division makes a loss
Sisk UK construction lost money last year.
The UK construction division’s turnover dropped to £350.7m from £382.9m in 2021, resulting in a pre-tax loss of £2.5m compared to a profit of £8.4m in 2021.
John Sisk & Son CEO Paul Brown said: “The business performance in the year was impacted to varying extents by the effects of Covid-19 on projects which commenced building work before the costs of implementing new ways of working were fully understood.
Price inflation, especially energy costs on fixed-price contracts, affected the business. Construction was barely affected by the Ukraine war.
With a solid order book and good visibility through 2024, the business expects to return to profitability in 2023.
In January 2022, the Group acquired Fuse Rail, a UK rail electrification and specialty service provider, which will strengthen its rail market offering, which we intend to grow significantly over the following five years.
Sicon’s 2022 turnover was €1.73bn, up from €1.48b, and its pre-tax profit was €11.6m from €19.2m.
Brown stated, “I am pleased to report a strong financial performance during 2022, demonstrating the resilience of the business despite continued macro-economic uncertainty and inflationary pressures.
“Over the past year, we have enhanced our legacy of building excellence with a modern, technologically advanced approach to critical infrastructure delivery, creating opportunities for people and contributing to societal progress.
“As we continue to deliver on our purpose of creating places for future generations, the Group balance sheet and the high quality of our order book will enable us to capture opportunities for profitable growth while remaining resilient to macro-economic challenges.”
UK Permits Motorway Tunnel Near Stonehenge
Original Source: UK government approves construction of road tunnel near Stonehenge
£1.7 billion project to reduce vacation traffic.
The British government approved a contentious motorway tunnel near Stonehenge in southwest England on Friday.
Two years after campaigners won a legal battle to block the project, which would excavate a two-mile tunnel past the UNESCO World Heritage Site, the decision was made.
The £1.7 billion project will reduce vacation traffic on a southwest England key road.
Despite a panel of planning experts warning of “permanent, irreversible harm” to the area, transport minister Grant Shapps authorized construction in 2020.
The High Court overturned it the next year.
The court ruled on the minister’s permission, not the scheme’s merits.
Shapps’ successor Mark Harper “satisfied” that the project’s “harm on spatial, visual relations and settings is less than substantial and should be weighed against the public benefits” in a 64-page letter granting fresh authorisation.
The vast engineering project in an area packed with ancient treasures around the standing stones has been criticized, and UNESCO warned that the site could lose its World Heritage Site title if building goes ahead.
RAC driving group chief Steve Gooding predicted another legal battle from project opponents.
“This saga is starting to feel almost as old as the stones themselves and it’s not over yet,” Gooding added.
Bam Restructuring to Lose 1,100 English Construction Jobs
Original Source: Bam restructure to see job cuts at 1,100-strong construction business in England
New Northern area will replace the solitary South-east arm.
Bam is revamping its 1,100-person English construction company, reducing the number of regions from seven to five.
The North-east, centered in Leeds, and North-west, based in Manchester near Old Trafford football ground, will unite into one Northern area.
John Phillips, who took over Bam Construct’s North-east business after James Wimpenny was promoted to the executive board, will oversee this.
Since joining the organization in 2000, Ian Fleming has led the North-west.
The South-east region will be amalgamated into Bam’s London, Western, and Midlands regions, called Central and led by Adam Harding.
The South-east area, situated at Bam’s headquarters in Hemel Hempstead, will likely go, making London, led by Rod Stiles, and Western, led by Tim Chell in Bristol, larger territories.
Bam claimed the move will result in “a small number of redundancies,” with estimates it could be about 30. “Where possible we are seeking alternative internal roles,” the firm said.
“Like most companies we are constantly reviewing our structure and how we operate in line with best practice and market conditions,” said Wimpenny, executive director construction, Bam UK & Ireland.
Building believes Bam is no longer a candidate for the delayed Gateshead Arena development.
Bam took up Sir Robert McAlpine’s £260m job 18 months earlier.
However, mounting costs have delayed the project, with the 12,500-seat arena not anticipated to conclude until 2027.
Ask Real Estate and the local council are developing the £350m project.
A 344-bed hotel will open in autumn 2025 as the initial component of the construction.
UK Visas Foreign Construction Workers to Address Job Shortfalls
Original Source: UK offers visas to foreign construction workers to fill job gaps
Foreign tradespeople must pass an English test and be qualified to apply for a visa.
The UK government is “temporarily easing visa restrictions” for some construction jobs by adding them to the shortage occupation list.
To address UK job shortages, carpenters, bricklayers, and roofers will be able to apply for work visas and receive a cost discount.
Foreign workers skilled in specific fields can apply for a work visa with a reduced application fee under new plans.
The administration expects the measure will strengthen the economy, “stimulate development,” and “attract new talent”.
The announcement follows Tory MPs’ requests for Prime Minister Rishi Sunak to limit immigration and temporary visa schemes.
Downing Street claimed the move did not conflict with Home Secretary Suella Braverman’s well-publicized goal to limit immigration and end dependency on foreign employees.
Bricklayers, masons, roofers, slaters, roof tilers, carpenters, joiners, plasterers, and other “construction and building trades not elsewhere classified” were added.
A shortage occupation can pay 80 percent of the job’s typical rate.
Under the government’s points-based immigration system, applicants must have an employer-sponsored job offer and meet English-language standards.
The Home Office added that the shortage occupation list is under revision.
The Migration Advisory Committee, which advises the government on immigration, recommended the idea.
The independent group previously warned that replacing freedom of movement with a points-based immigration system after Brexit might reduce economic development and have “zero effect” on employment growth for British workers.
At the time, industry executives worried builders might be one of the hardest hit by the UK’s immigration policies, which did not frequently award permits to low-skilled foreign workers.
“I think we’ve always acknowledged that in the short term we will need to flex and use our Brexit freedoms to enable us to fill short-term occupation numbers,” the Prime Minister’s official spokesman said.
The shortage occupation list is counted separately from net migration.
As the Home Secretary stated, “Long-term it’s right.” We want to assure a specially trained domestic workforce.”
He said that the Department for Effort and Pensions was “doing a lot of work to that end to ensure that those who are inactive or on long-term sickness are being helped back into the workforce to fill some of these gaps”.
Summary of today’s construction news
Overall, there are currently more than 140,000 unfilled jobs in the construction industry in the UK. Metals4u analyzed job posts on LinkedIn, Indeed, and Totaljobs to determine which trade skills are now in highest demand. There are currently over 65,000 opportunities for construction workers, electricians, and plumbers on major job boards. Meanwhile, with a decline in revenue to £350.7m from £382.9m in 2021, the UK construction division posted a pre-tax loss of £2.5m, down from a profit of £8.4m. In addition, a controversial highway tunnel in southwest England’s Stonehenge region was given the go light by the British government on Friday. A two-mile tunnel would have to be dug past the UNESCO World Heritage Site, and this decision was made after activists fought and won a judicial battle to stop the project. Furthermore, as the new Northern area expands, the existing South-East arm will be abandoned. Bam is restructuring its English construction firm, which employs 1,100 people, by consolidating the company’s seven areas into five. On top of that, Foreign businesspeople applying for a visa must demonstrate English proficiency. Due to a scarcity, the British government is “temporarily easing visa restrictions” for some positions in the construction industry.
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