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The future is bright for the property and construction sector

The property and construction market certainly experienced a difficult start to 2020 as trading and projects stopped due to the pandemic. 

However, projects and the market restarting helped the sector move towards recovery, even if it has yet to reach pre-COVID levels. Many firms are still busy catching up with the backlog of projects which accumulated over the first lockdown.

Brexit has also had a strong impact on the property and construction industry in the last year, especially in regions like the South East – employers in this region are heavily dependent on the non-UK workforce. We are likely to see a reduction in the talent pool and a disruption in the flow of workers. Manufacturer costs are likely to increase, depending on the new import/export rules in place.

Talent on the market

There is a mix of talent levels depending on industries and regions, but generally there seems to be a shortage of candidates on the market at present. Businesses will need to be quick and offer their most competitive salary and benefits package to secure the top talent. Streamlining their recruitment process will significantly improve their chances on the talent market.  

Businesses nationwide are becoming anxious about replacing their aging workforce. With 78% of jobseekers set to retire within the next five years, there is a continuing shortage of younger professionals on the market. For businesses to thrive long-term, attracting top talent, especially talented graduates, is key. Organisations will need to review their attraction strategies, opportunities for progression and other benefit offerings.

Property and construction salary and benefits

Mentoring and development opportunities are a great way to retain existing talent and ensure they remain motivated and committed to their work, with up-to-date industry skills and knowledge. Those who feel valued will likely show more loyalty and stay in their current role to help their business through tough times.

Employee wellbeing is also a major consideration for those looking for new opportunities. Workers returning to construction sites will require businesses to adhere to coronavirus health and safety restrictions to keep them safe.

Benenden Health’s latest white paper found that in 2019, 40% of employees in the construction and engineering sector took time off work due to poor mental health – compared to 35% across all sectors. More than half of those were dishonest about the reason for taking the time off, so employers must do more to earn their employees’ trust.

Candidate opportunities

Depending on the sector the construction company works in, demand for certain roles will be different. Those specialising in fitting out of retail, leisure and offices have been hit hard, whereas those working in housing and civil engineering have been unaffected. Specialists may need to adapt or reskill to find work in the most in-demand areas during the current economic downturn. However, the successes and challenges change depending on the region.

For example, in London, warehousing and logistics are expected to grow, driven by the huge increase in online shopping – but private sector housing is likely to be a slow burner as homebuyers’ confidence has been dented by the economic outlook.

Professionals who specialise in new design solutions and modern methods of construction will be able to find work with companies who are reforming their processes to mitigate their losses and generate long-term growth.

Property and construction salaries in different regions

Our specialism experts and REED business leaders provide key insight into the industry in our salary guide, discussing the local job landscape of each UK region. Here are just some of the interesting regional trends featured in the guide.

Wales

Construction companies here are preparing for major schemes including the Wylfa Newydd nuclear project, the M4 relief road, and the South Wales Metro. 

Over the next 12 months and beyond, there is likely to be a surge in demand for construction workers, including bricklayers, civil engineers (who could earn up to £49,000), and surveyors. Quantity surveyors are expected to earn between a minimum of £25,000 a year for assistants and up to £65,000 for seniors. However, the highest earners are expected to be heads of development in social housing, with salaries ranging from £70,000 to £85,000. 

North West

Outside of the capital, Manchester has the largest amount and highest value of construction projects in the UK. The national HS2 project, for example, as well as new experimental green power generation sites, could provide a huge number of construction opportunities in the region. The highest earning roles in this region are quantity surveyors, with salaries ranging from £45,000 and £65,000 for senior quantity surveyors, while salaries for project managers are expected to range from £36,000 and £55,000, depending on skills and experience.

For more information on salaries and benefits in the property and construction sector, as well as regional insights on your local market, download our 2021 salary guide

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