According to ManpowerGroup, building companies in London have hired bricklayers from Portugal on £52,000-a-year salaries because of a shortage of skills in the UK workforce. What does this mean for more than £1bn of construction projects in the Brighton pipeline?
The going rate for bricklayers has, until recently, been about half that paid to the Portuguese workers and the new level reflects strong demand, especially in the south east.
But one-in three large construction firms in London are said to have decided not to bid for projects because of a lack of skilled workers.
James Hick, a spokesman for ManpowerGroup, said, "The profession has not been that attractive for new entrants during the downturn, which is combined by an aging workforce and lots of people leaving the sector".
It seems that lorry drivers are also in demand as internet shopping advances and delivery of goods either direct to homes or massive distribution centres creates demand for drivers. Manpower said that lorry drivers in the retail sector were being paid up to £22/hour, once again about twice the going rate.
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