Manchester’s construction sector is at an all-time high, with 30 building projects currently under way in the city.
Most recently, research from data scientists Adzuna revealed that the city topped the charts for the most trade and construction jobs outside of London, with skilled joiners and plasterers in high demand as the city goes for growth.
But therein reveals the problem- a booming construction market has racked up demand for skilled workers, but as more and more projects spring up, the pool of workers gets ever drier.
Wages for in-demand trades like joinery have rocketed by 20 pc in a single year- putting pressure on contractors as costs are driven up, increasing the risk of many projects becoming unaffordable to complete.
Meanwhile, the shortage of skills is delaying some projects and forcing others to rush completion at the risk of poor quality work.
This could ultimately mean that Manchester’s record growth could come to a sudden halt.
So how can the city rectify the problem?
Stuart Anderson from Construction Skills People, which delivers a wide range of vocational qualifications and commercial training courses specifically for the construction sector, said: “Since 2007, the industry has lost over 250,000 skilled people.
“An aging workforce and the cyclic nature of the industry has created a real skills shortage, which is threatening future growth- as seen in Manchester.
“Demand for skilled workers is showing no sign of stopping.
“Upskilling the next generation could be the long-term solution to plugging the gap and future-proofing the industry.
“For a short term fix, contractors can also do their bit to attract workers. A safe, clean environment is a good place to start, and encouraging on-site learning and professional development will ultimately push current construction workers to remain in the industry.”