Construction materials shortages could mean an increased construction cost and a longer construction time for many new UK skyscrapes, a new study has warned.
The new study, commissioned by the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG), found that as a result of a shortage of construction materials and a lack of skilled labour in key construction sites, UK builders could face an extended construction time of at least three to five years.
The study also found that, as a whole, the UK construction sector has the lowest rate of workforce participation in the developed world, according to the World Bank.
“The UK construction industry faces an opportunity to increase productivity, but it may also face significant structural barriers to achieving this,” said the report, which analysed data from the International Labour Organization (ILO).
“The UK’s construction sector faces a significant structural challenge, and is therefore likely to face increased labour costs and reduced quality of construction as a consequence of a shortfall in construction materials.”
The study said that for a number of projects, the majority of workers were from China and Vietnam.
The ILO said it was the first comprehensive study of the UK’s building industry to identify a structural shortage in the UK and its potential impacts on the country’s ability to meet its housing and construction needs.
It also warned that the lack of workers in the construction industry could have a significant impact on the economy and the economy’s ability for the UK to provide affordable housing.
The report said the UK faced “a shortage of skilled construction workers and workers in all construction trades” because of the shortage of materials and skilled labour, as well as the impact of the country having a large population of foreign workers, which has not been addressed.
“With an aging population and a population of people who are less educated and less employable, it is expected that a shortage in skilled labour will increase as the UK population ages and becomes more diverse,” the ILO warned.
“For example, there are currently over 2.2 million British citizens aged 55 and over living in the country.
This is equivalent to one person in every 17 in the total population of the EU and one person per 10,000 in the EU-28.”
By 2030, the shortfall will be much larger than the 1.4 million UK citizens currently in the labour force, and will be more than double the 1 million UK nationals currently employed in construction.
“A spokesperson for the DCLG said the government had “always supported the use of high quality, local-built housing in areas with the highest population density, particularly in high-density, high-value urban areas”.”
We believe the UK can lead the way by making sure the country has the best infrastructure and building materials supply chain, and building sites are fully compliant with international best practice standards.