Home Property & Construction Demand stays strong for skilled trades

Demand stays strong for skilled trades

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Ian Anfield, managing director of Hudson Contract

Earnings for freelance tradespeople in the construction sector dipped by 1.7 per cent last month, according to latest figures released by Hudson Contract.

Analysis of September payroll data for more than 2,200 construction companies in England and Wales reveals a weekly average of £889 for subcontractors.

Underlying demand remains strong for specialist trades with average earnings 2.5 per cent higher than the same month last year.

Our regional breakdown shows Wales was the best-performing territory with average earnings rising by 1.1 per cent to £796 a week during September. The country has a number of major construction projects including a £280m schools programme.


Roofing contractors saw the strongest growth last month with average earnings rising by 2.6 per cent to £834 per week across England and Wales.

They were followed by scaffolding and lifting contractors, up 1.4 per cent to £851, and bricklaying contractors, up 1 per cent to £787.

Ian Anfield, managing director of Hudson Contract, said: “Beyond the national headlines about Brexit-related uncertainty in the construction sector, we see demand for housing remains high as does demand for highly skilled tradespeople.

“The UK has a shortage of new homes and is way off government targets of 300,000 per year, managing 170,000 completions last year.

“This means self-employed specialists will continue to be able to command a premium for their valuable services.”

Hudson Contract delivers the most accurate indication of sub-contractor pay trends across the construction industry, publishing the average pay for a spectrum of 17 different trades split across 10 regions in England and Wales.

Hudson Contract, founded in 1996, is the UK’s largest professional workplace audit and Construction Industry Scheme (CIS) contract provider. The family-owned group provides audit contract and payroll services to more than 2,200 construction SMEs, on whose behalf it processed 1.7m payments last year.

Hudson Contract’s monthly figures offer a valuable insight into pay trends in the £90bn construction industry, which accounts for 6.7 per cent of the UK economy and supports 2.9m jobs.

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