Building Britain's Future? The construction workforce after #Brexit 

The construction industry is of vital strategic importance to the UK. A healthy construction industry will be essential if we are to build the homes, commercial property and infrastructure that our economy and our country needs.

Yet the construction industry faces a grave threat from Brexit.

In their latest report "Building Britain's Future? The construction workforce after Brexit", Joe Dromey, Marley Morris, and Luke Murphy at IPPR have identified three significant challenges facing the construction industry:

  1. Productivity growth in construction has been stagnant.
  2. Construction faces severe and growing skills shortages.
  3. Construction has become increasingly reliant on EU migration.

They set out recommendations in three areas.

  1. Implementing an industrial strategy for construction.
  2. Building a skills strategy for construction.
  3. Ensuring a migration policy that works for construction.

Brexit has sharpened concerns that the construction skills shortage may deepen, with RICS estimating 8% of jobs could be at risk. Waste management involves a shifting regulatory landscape and complex practical challenges, that place severe demands on contractors. Outsourcing waste management is an effective way to save time, get a great service and beat the construction skills shortage.

Waste management – a specialised responsibility

Smart construction companies are outsourcing specialised areas, for instance waste management, to an expert partner such as Reconomy.

Build UK survey recently revealed that 25% of contractors had found themselves unable to bid for work, due to labour shortages.

Uncertainty around the status of EU workers after Brexit has sharpened concerns about the construction skills shortage in Britain. The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) estimates that the industry could potentially lose up to 176,000 jobs, or 8% of its workforce, depending on the details of any deal that the UK government negotiates with Brussels.

The situation is worrying, because there is mounting evidence that there are already significant problems across half of the UK finding the skills and talents to get particular jobs done. One effective solution is to outsource an important and tricky function like waste management, so that your skilled, specialist people can do what they do best and put the risks and costs of deceptively complex areas in specialist hands.

Although waste disposal sounds like a straightforward process to a layman, construction managers know that it’s anything but. Waste segregation, landfill avoidance, rapidly changing regulations and shifting sustainability requirements are complicated, time-consuming responsibilities, placing severe demands on contractors.

Outsourcing waste management will ensure that a business has a specialist, professional partner, that takes care of each part of the process, from planning and procuring equipment, to monitoring and disposing of waste. Outsourcing from a reputable recycling and resource management service can save contractors time, money and headaches.

Additional waste management costs and even fines

It can be particularly tricky to find people with reliable skillsets in specialist areas like waste management. As a construction business, you probably work across a number of sites, sometimes spanning a sizable geographical area. That means having a waste management plan in place for every location, each of which ideally needs regular visits to make sure its system is working properly.

An efficient plan will maximise the amount of waste that’s recycled or reused, and that involves on-site waste segregation, requiring extra space at the site and workers with specific knowledge. If recyclable waste gets contaminated and disposed of at landfill, the contractor is likely to incur landfill tax and extra disposal charges. There may even be fines for disposing of hazardous waste improperly, even run-of-the-mill items like empty paint tins or sealant tubes.

If you manage waste in-house, you’ll have to keep on top of an ever-shifting regulatory landscape, master complex practical challenges and find a steady stream of workers with specialist knowledge, against the backdrop of a construction skills shortage that may be about to get worse. The alternative is to outsource waste management to an expert partner, with a detailed grasp of regulations and logistical requirements.

Planning and insight

A reputable outsourced waste management supplier will provide guidance about best practice across the spectrum of challenges that a contractor may encounter. They will have handled each aspect of the process before, for many different types of construction projects, so whatever problem your project might entail, they’re likely to find a solution.

They’ll also have the detailed knowledge to ensure that your waste management plan is effectively designed and implemented. Modern waste management involves so much more than simply disposing of waste and it requires a wealth of specialist knowledge and expertise.

There is already a premium on talent in the industry and Brexit adds an element of uncertainty about the availability of EU workers into the future. Outsourcing waste management to skilled professionals is an intelligent way for managers to beat the construction skills shortage.

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