FMB says 89% of builders having to delay jobs

FMB says 89% of builders having to delay jobs

A “shocking” 89% of local builders have reported having to delay jobs due to a lack of materials or skilled tradespeople, according to the latest State of Trade Survey from the Federation of Master Builders (FMB).

Adding to the pressure facing the industry the FMB’s findings show 97% of builders have reported “skyrocketing” material prices and expect this to continue into the last quarter of 2021. 78% are said to be passing this increased cost on to the consumer.

Builders have been forced to hit pause on some jobs, in the face of increasing difficulty to hire tradespeople, such as general labourers and plasterers, with 42% and 37% respectively of builders struggling to get them to a job. Despite a slight easing, near half of FMB members are also facing pressure to find carpenters/joiners and bricklayers.

The FMB State of Trade Survey, which is released quarterly, is described as the only survey of its kind to track the experience of small to medium-sized (SME) construction firms in the UK. Other findings include:

Delays and cancellations

82% of builders have delayed jobs due to a lack of materials

60% have been pressed pause due to a lack of skilled tradespeople

Combined, 89% of builders have faced delays due to either materials or skills shortages

8% of builders have been forced to cancel jobs due to a lack of materials

12% have been cancelled due to a lack of skilled tradespeople

Skills shortages

42% can’t get hold of general labourers, up 6% on last quarter

37% can’t hire plasterers, a rise of 6% on last quarter

47% of builders are struggling to hire carpenters/joiners, down 6% on last quarter

45% are struggling to hire bricklayers, a fall of 2% on last quarter

Price rises

97% of builders are facing material price rises, with 93% expecting this to continue into Q4

77% of respondents have been forced to raise their prices in the past quarter

Brian Berry, Chief Executive of the FMB, said: “Today’s FMB State of Trade Survey shows a damning situation for the building industry, with 89% of builders facing delays and some cancelling work altogether, due to a lack of materials or skills. The Government should use tomorrow’s Budget and Spending Review to tackle the growing skills gap. Effective efforts to help the haulage industry ease the supply of materials are also needed. This will help our members get back to building and help the post pandemic economic recovery.”

Brian concluded: “Our data shows the combination of long delays and rising prices mean consumers are also starting to feal the heat. Changing quotes, delays to jobs, and price hikes may lead to some homeowners being pulled in by unscrupulous builders hoping to make a quick buck. A good builder is a busy builder and it is important to be patient when selecting the right person for the job.”

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