labour shortages in the insulated render and cladding industry

As I woke up to smell the coffee this morning my hope was that the external powers that provide governance may do the same in the very near future to help ride the perfect storm that we are now in.

‘Storm Covexit-19’ is here!  And it’s going to be around for some time – some say two years or more!

Covexit Explained

Business Opportunities in the insulated render and cladding industry sector have never been so high. However, optimism is nullified by the growing concerns of the industry not being able to cope with the demand brought on by a mass exodus of labour, shortages and rises in material costs, increased labour costs and the speediness of being able to recruit and train new entrants to new demanding PAS 2035 standards.

As recently as two years ago, this would have been impossible to predict. It is too much for an industry to deal with in one go. I wonder what the odds would have been from a bookmaker!

Like before we are in the hands of Government Policy. We can only hope this will allow the industry the sustainability to invest and not be halted mid-term, as we have experienced in the past, due to the ups and down of the stance around the ‘Green Economy’.

We are all aware that during the last ten years our EWI industry has been heavily supported by EU labour availability. This gave contractors the flexibility to move quickly to manage demand in a very transient market. It supported our core regional workforces, either directly employed or through local sub-contractors.

The route to EU workers has slowed down. Many have returned to their own countries due to enforced lockdowns and latterly, new Brexit rules regarding working in the UK. The route to become a UK Sponsor is fraught with difficulties and not easy for companies to gain status.

The points-based system is fine if you are an Elite Athlete or Professor. In these cases it appears it can be overridden. But what about plasterers and other trades? The very trades and professions we need now to help our economy flourish.

INCA – Supporting The Insulated Render And Cladding Industry

As a collective insulated render and cladding industry we recognize the need to develop and increase home-grown talent. Making External Wall Insulation an attractive proposition to any individual is not easy but it can be done given time.
It would also be foolish for any business to grow and increase its workforce size to a level that is not sustainable that increases its cost base/overhead. Great when you have the work, but difficult to manage when it slows down; and you become uncompetitive.

BEIS do very much understand the issues as they work closely with organizations such as INCA regarding government funded schemes, but can we expect any help? Can some policies be relaxed to help with demand?

I am not confident as their pay masters don’t appear to like coffee. So will we have to just carry on drinking it and riding the storm?

If you feel INCA can do more to influence the ‘Powers that be’ or work closer with the wider construction industry, please email us here.

Mike Roberts
INCA Board Director

Insulated Render and Cladding Association (INCA)
The recognised trade association for the external wall insulation (EWI) industry in the UK.
66 Bondgate, Castle Donington, DE74 2NR
Tel: 0330 124 6585 Email: