The biggest impact of Brexit on my company so far has been labour availability. The UK hasn’t invested enough in encouraging the younger generations to consider careers as professional tradesmen and women. The gap had been, for many years, plugged by skilled labour from Eastern Europe, many of whom have left due to the uncertainty and general ill feeling towards them. They can earn in their own countries so have chosen to go back.
With the end of the transition period approaching, I feel I have all other resources to grow the business except the most important – recruitment. There is no point winning new business and not having the human resources to deliver.
We need to actively encourage not just the young but the low-skilled and semiskilled to gain qualifications in the trades.
Established contractors need to be better incentivised to take on people undergoing training. The current apprenticeship scheme is seen by most as more of a burden than an investment.
Up until Covid-19, I had not seen any issues with the materials supply chain. I’ve seen construction costs in the UK rise significantly over the last decade and this has already squeezed margins.
I do strongly believe there will be an impact on both the supply and costs of materials as a direct result of Brexit. The largest impact will be on the end user who will inevitably have to pick up the bill for these increased costs.
Article Taken from BritBuild, the voice of the National Federation of Builders.