Construction expected to shed 10% of workforce by September

The size of the UK construction workforce is set to drop by 9.9% by September, according to a Build UK survey.

The Retaining Talent in Construction survey, conducted on behalf of the Construction Leadership Council (CLC), found that 43% of respondents expected to make redundancies over the longer term.

Firms said that up to 20% of their workforce could be affected, while 6.7% of apprentices are likely to lose their jobs by September, and 60% of respondents are looking to take on fewer apprentices at the next intake.

Construction firms predict that they will reduce their directly employed workforce by an average of 7.7% by September.

Meanwhile, there is expected to be a 26.7% reduction in the number of self-employed and agency workers across the industry by September. Housebuilders, specialist contractors and contractors are the most significant users of self-employed and agency workers. While housebuilders and specialist contractors anticipate reducing their numbers by 4% and 11% respectively, contractors are looking to reduce self-employed and agency workers by 42%, according to the survey.

The combined reduction in directly employed and self-employed workers results in a 9.9% expected reduction in workers by September.

On average, 32% of direct employees are furloughed, as of the start of June when the survey was carried out.

Source: Construction Leadership Council

The findings provided further evidence of the impact the coronavirus pandemic and the subsequent lockdown has had on the construction industry.

Build UK said that the results of the survey showed the need for a pipeline of projects to protect jobs.

Separately, the Infrastructure and Projects Authority (IPA) has published its Procurement Pipeline 2020/21, which details 340 contracts across more than 260 projects with an estimated value of up to £37bn over the next year. It details when a project or programme is expected to go out to tender, the estimated value of each contract and the expected award date.

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