Labour and product shortages putting pressure on the construction industry

Labour and product shortages are having a significant impact on the construction industry’s supply chain across the UK, leading to delayed deliveries and rising prices.

An unprecedented demand for building products has been reported throughout the year, but the latest statement from the Construction Leadership Council’s (CLC) Product Availability Group has identified a lack of labour as a rising concern.

All regions are reporting that hauliers, HGV and LGV drivers are in short supply and very difficult to recruit, with further issues recruiting skilled and unskilled staff, including experienced bricklayers and yard operatives.

What’s more, across the supply chain, these labour shortages are being exacerbated by the high number of staff being required to self-isolate after coming into contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19, and being ‘pinged’ by the NHS Test and Trace programme.

John Newcomb, chief executive officer of the Builders Merchants Federation, and co-chair of the CLC’s Product Availability Group, said: “The supply chain is extremely stretched on all fronts, but our members are pulling out the stops to keep supplies in branches and deliveries out to customers in very challenging circumstances.

“Alongside pricing, stability and accuracy of supply remains the overarching concern and regular, accurate and transparent communication throughout the supply chain to the end client is deemed vital by all. It is important that all parties recognise the extent of the extraordinary challenges we are currently experiencing and adopt a flexible and collaborative approach to finding solutions.”