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Welsh tradesmen are getting paid more than Londoners

by constructaquote - 8 February 2016


A recent analysis of earnings for the UK construction industry has revealed some startling news. This, of course, is that Welsh tradesman are getting paid more than their London counterparts.

The report concentrated on earnings of mainly self- employed workers and contractors across the United Kingdom. While workers in Wales have seen dramatic pay increases across the board, those in London have seen a significant fall in earnings.

The report also stated that bricklayer’s pay has fallen as well — and many are wondering what the premise is for these sudden pay increases and decreases? According to industry monitors, the answers to these questions are not as simple as they seem.

Hudson Contract payroll services surveyed 2,000 building firms across Wales and England, chronicling pay trend indexes, along with similarities and differences based on detailed analysis of overall payroll dates.

Based on their findings and reports:

  • Self-employed tradesmen in Wales have experienced a 5.3% year-on-year increase in earnings over the past year.
  • However, tradesmen in England only saw a 1.8% increase nationally.
  • Regional differences across England showed a 4.2% rise in The Humber and Yorkshire.
  • However, the Northeast region experienced a 2.1% fall in earnings.
  • Similarly, London-based builders and contractors saw a decrease in earnings by 0.4%.

As part of the overall study, Hudson Contracts set up an interactive online information service and forum that lists the overall Construction Pay Trends. The service reveals pay differences every week by region, age, and even sub-sectors. These include joinery and bricklaying professions, along with surfacing and roofing contractors. The index will be updated on a monthly basis to showcase the latest pay trends, while offering a comprehensive comparison chart for those across the UK. In addition, the site also serves as an online career resource portal for building apprentices — which allows them to tap into the current and burgeoning industry trends and developments.

Many tradesmen across the region have already accessed the site to tap into the current pay levels. This allows them to see how they are faring when it comes to internal, external, and regionally-based UK contractors. The forum also lists informative industry articles, press releases, and announcements — and covers all the latest trends in the building, construction, design, and other related industries.

According to the recent statistics, the roofing sector experienced the highest percentage of growth of all construction trades. In fact, this sector saw a 6.1% growth in year-on-year earnings. The plastering sub-sector also saw dramatic growth with an increase of 4.8%, while scaffolding topped off at 4.3%. While generally in short supply, bricklayers saw their average earnings decrease by 1% over the past year. Sadly, those working in operator and equipment hire also saw a 4.1% average drop in earnings this past year.

Whether in construction, building, design, scaffolding, Sheetrock, bricklaying, or related industries, Wales has shown a strong increase in earnings across a range of industries and sub-sectors.

From regional to national reports and comparisons, tradesmen in Wales have truly experienced the sharpest annual growth in overall earnings. With more projects and developments happening in Cardiff and all across Wales, it has truly been a great year for the Welshman. No truer is this than for building and construction industries, as well as contracting and related occupations.

Due to the market saturation across England, the demand for new construction has been relatively lower this year for Londoners. Even with sprawling residential and commercial developments, the construction industry has seen a significant drop in projects compared to the Welsh. While no official reason has been given, one can only conclude that supply and demand is the main reason for dipping earnings in England and higher revenues across Wales.

Like any other industry, however, construction does fluctuate based on a myriad of factors. This includes development contracts that are granted to only a select number of companies and contractors. The demand for new developments may also be dictated by financial constraints, as well as available areas and lots for commercial or residential development.

With this in mind, it appears that London-based contractors and firms may be struggling with a decreased amount of available projects, bids, and offers at this time. In fact, Hudson has seen several self-employed contractors all bid on the same projects within a certain radius. This includes the city, outskirts, suburbs, and other areas across the UK.

Wales, however, only seems to grow across several industries – and might explain – why so many contractors are heading south to tap into a wealth of new opportunities.

The only concern is that the Welsh market may also become saturated with the recent influx of contractors from up North seeking work. For now, Wales remains ahead of London in terms of pay scales, projects, and developments within the constructional and industrial realms.