Two-thirds of those running small and medium-sized (SME) construction firms are struggling to hire bricklayers as skills shortages within the industry have hit a ‘record high’, according to the Federation of Master Builders (FMB). Coupled with the announcement that the government has pledged to build 300,000 new homes each year, the construction industry is left with only one question: Who will build these new homes?
Whilst it can be physically demanding, bricklaying is the foundation (excuse the pun) of the construction industry. It’s a vital role, so there is no shortage of steady work. Keep reading as we discover just how important it is to the construction industry.
The role of a bricklayer
Bricklayers have the rewarding task of seeing their hard work manifest right before their eyes. They build and repair building structures which might include walls and chimneys. They might also be involved in building extensions in people’s homes, which might include building extra bedrooms or even outside spaces. However, commercial bricklayers work on bigger projects such as contracts to build new homes, apartments, office spaces or other buildings.
They are also responsible for sealing foundations and walls using damp-resistant materials, as well as repairing building blocks. Whilst it is not always ideal, they are often found working outdoors on construction sites, and often from great heights. However, as it is such a physically demanding role, we’re seeing businesses struggle to take on contracts or turn away work because of the lack of resources and manpower.
A solution to the problem
The government feels the answer to the skills shortage lies in investing in homegrown, British talent- putting an end to overseas labour. The Home Secretary Priti Patel decided against relaxing immigration rules to open up opportunities for EU residents to work in the UK. She believes those who have lost their jobs due to the pandemic have an opportunity to retrain as bricklayers.
At Walsall College, we understand the need to invest in homegrown talent, which is why we have our own purpose built brick laying workshop. Our industry standard equipment can provide you with the tools and experience you need to build a future in the bricklaying industry.
Apply now to secure your place for September. See our Brickwork courses.