Construction wages soar in the wake of skills shortages
Construction workers saw their wages rise well above the national average towards the end of last year, according to new figures from the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS). According to their research, employees in the sector enjoyed a 6% rise in earnings, compared to an average wage increase of just 2% across the rest of the country.
RICS believes one of the factors driving construction wage rises could be a lack of skilled workers in the industry, after its UK Construction Market Survey for Q4 2015 revealed that 66% of construction professionals said that skills shortages had acted as a check on growth between October and December 2015.
Among the most sought-after members of staff in the period were bricklayers and quantity surveyors. In the poll, 62% and 60% of respondents said they had encountered difficulties hiring these workers, respectively. These skills shortages meant that the majority of construction professionals - 61% - saw an increase in their earnings during Q4.
The survey also found that optimism in the sector remained high, even though some respondents had concerns about financing. Just under half of respondents - 45% - said they were hopeful of seeing an increase in profits over 2016.