Wages for Tradespeople Working in London.

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Construction in London has come to a crossroads with the issue of tradesmen’s wages/rates. Since 2007 there has been very little real increase in rates for carpenters, plumbers, steel fixers and brickies. Rates have remained at or below 2007 levels and tradesmen working in the London area know they can get better rates on foreign shores.


Industrial workers such as instrument technicians and fitters are making excellent rates in Canada as the heavy industry sector over there continues to do well in Alberta and other areas but even that is going to slow over the next year or so.


Because of this some people are seeing Brexit as a good way to leverage a better wage for tradespeople due to the lack of tradespeople that a ban on free movement of people would create. This would lead to higher price on skilled persons in the work place but at what cost?


Severe labour shortages are predicted for projects across the UK and the current workforce that lives in the area will not be sufficient to supply the needs for these projects. Encouraging young people in trades programmes and apprenticeships is one way of doing so but without a discernible increase in wages and appreciation of the skills of people with trades will young people see it as a viable career?


The only tradespeople making money about the 2007 level are the ones working on Crossrail. As a result of strict safety and credential checks as well as a significant shortage in certain trades such as electricians and tilers, have led to better wages for qualified trades people. The only problem this creates is what happens to these people once Crossrail is finished and they have to go back to lower wages?


Where will the construction industry be in the next three years if enough is not done to encourage people that a trade is a viable career?