The latest Report on Jobs, published by accountants KPMG and the Recruitment & Employment Confederation, says that permanent staff vacancies in the UK construction industry have now declined for nine successive months.
However, demand for temporary staff – always a big part of the industry’s staffing profile – rose in December 2020 for the first time since June 2019.
The report findings suggest that construction firms sought to recruit temporary workers due to continuity ongoing uncertainty in the early part of December – with the UK general election taking place on 12th – thus holding off on permanent hires.
Jan Crosby, UK head of infrastructure, building and construction at KPMG said: “It appears that while demand for workers is increasing, firms are turning to temporary staff as a solution. We suspect this is a symptom of Brexit and the continued economic uncertainty, with companies showing a reluctance to hire for full time positions until we’re in a period of sustained stability.
“The need for more workers is an encouraging sign for the construction sector on the whole, given activity has been muted in recent months and the jobs market has taken hit as a result of a slowdown in incoming projects.
“The coming weeks and months will be crucial as many construction businesses seek to understand how Brexit will affect a market so dependent on labour from overseas.”