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Roofing and cladding skill shortages are a “ticking time bomb,” according to the National Federation of Roofing Contractors, with studies indicating that 77% of contractors experienced labor shortages in Q3 2021. (NFRC).

Slaters and tilers were the most in demand, according to the NFRC/Glenigan poll, indicating the expanding new-build housing sector. According to the survey, flat roofing contractors are similarly tough to locate.

Furthermore, almost one-tenth of NFRC members reported difficulty recruiting cladders, which might have an impact on the government’s £5 billion cladding repair project.

As a result of talent shortages, roofing contractors have seen labor costs rise, with roofing businesses reporting a 57 percent increase over last year. In addition, 92% of roofers have seen material prices rise.

Quarterly findings: A net balance of 40% of roofing contractors reported increasing workloads, a decrease from 54% the previous quarter.
Higher inquiries were recorded by 28% of members.
Employment increased, with 13% of contractors reporting an increase in employment.

The North of England and Scotland had the most growth, with Wales being the only section of the UK to have a decrease in workloads and inquiries from the previous quarter.

Over the quarter, 77 percent of roofing businesses reported a decline in material availability, with 31 percent reporting shortages of ‘all supplies.’
A spike in material prices was observed by 92 percent of roofing contractors.
Over the course of the year, 70% of roofers raised their tender prices.

Just under half of roofing contractors were creating or contemplating establishing a net zero plan prior to COP26.

‘Roofing contractors are concerned about skill shortages.’
“The headlines recently have been focused, appropriately, on HGV driver shortages, but the next ticking skills time bomb is construction skill shortages, notably in roofing,” said NFRC’s head of policy, Philip Campbell, in response to the report.

“Throughout the year, we have seen skill shortages become a major worry for roofing contractors, and our most recent survey indicated that three-quarters of our members are now experiencing recruiting challenges on a variety of tasks ranging from roof slaters and tilers to cladders.”

“The chancellor announced multibillion-pound financing promises for housing, leveling up, and cladding repair this week, but the government may fall short of these objectives if the building skills aren’t available to deliver.”

“We observed what happens when government aspirations and supply chain capability aren’t linked with the Green Homes Grant.”

“More broadly, while the roofing and cladding business grew again this quarter, the rate of growth slowed, notably in the residential, repair, maintenance, and improvement sector, which might be attributed to continued material and talent shortages.” Roofers, on the other hand, remain positive about the future.”

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