Construction skills shortages are pushing wages in the sector far above the national average, according to the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS).
The RICS UK Construction Market Survey shows that 61% of construction professionals have reported sharp wage rises in the sector.
Average construction earnings have risen by more than 6% in the year to October – a marked increase on the average UK wage rise over the same period of under 2%.
Labour shortages were reported by 66% of construction professionals to be the most significant barrier to growth in the last quarter of 2015. Bricklayers and quantity surveyors are reported to be in particularly short supply.
RICS Chief Economist, Simon Rubinsohn said:
“While workloads are still growing at a relatively healthy pace, labour shortages in the construction sector are causing delays at different stages in the development process and leading to significant problems with project planning. More than 60% of our survey respondents said that these resulting planning delays were an impediment to growth.
“That said, industry wages are becoming increasingly attractive, and I would hope that over time this will encourage skilled workers to return to the sector, as well as drawing school leavers and graduates towards construction industry careers.”
RICS Skills and Talent Director, Sally Speed said:
“The construction skills crisis is slowing growth in a sector that is vital to UK plc. Unless Government looks to address the problem urgently, some of its key housing and infrastructure programmes could soon face crippling delays and spiralling costs.”