As a firm of Chartered Building Surveyors in Beverley we are calling for more training in schools to tackle the growing skills shortage, after research by the Federation of Master Builders has found smaller construction firms are struggling to hire bricklayers, carpenters, plumbers and electricians.
We work across the region with a variety of clients, overseeing construction development schemes and have seen a decline in the number of school leavers taking up this type of career.
There has been a call from many professional bodies, including The Federation of Master Builders and RICS to accelerate take-up from young people in the construction industry. Locally we have excellent colleges and organisations to provide the skills and training and there are jobs to move straight into.
If the number of skilled workers continues to diminish, it will have a negative effect on future housing developments. This is not a self-contained issue as it has a snowball effect that could eventually damage the whole economy; shortage of housing, lack of affordable housing and the impact on house prices.
The government really needs to invest in careers advice. Schools are being left to do this on their own and unfortunately they aren't given the tools to show students what's available.
With potential to earn up to £1k a week as a bricklayer, no shortage of work, and the possibility for jobs to act as a great stepping-stone to higher positions, it is a great path for people to follow once they leave school and especially now that Health and Safety regulations have been tightened, workplace-related illnesses and accidents are also in decline.
The implications of Brexit also threaten to make the shortage of skills in Yorkshire and The Humber an even more pressing issue, so educating local young people about the benefits of working in the industry has never been more important.
You could start out as a bricklayer, joiner or a plumber and end up owning your own business and becoming a property developer, it’s all about what people make of it.