In addition, everyone working in construction is faced with increasing health and safety legislation and personal liability, yet wages have not increased to reflect this. The average wage of a senior building surveyor is now the same as a primary school teacher. I do not believe the risk factors are the same in teaching as they are in construction.
The influx of cheap foreign labour will only exacerbate the situation. Cheaper labour will affect the indigenous tradesmen who have stayed in the profession for the long haul or for the love of the job. It will soon make sense for them to consider retiring early or transferring to more stable working environments (as thousands did in the last recession).
Low wages will also further alienate teenagers, women or minority groups from coming into the trade.
So Mr Prescott, if you are reading this, you are welcome to come down, trudge through the mud, have a cup of tea in our site hut and use our Portaloo. There I can show you how I explain the intricacies of the CDM regulations and risk assessments to my Romanian carpenter. You can also wave goodbye to our roofer, who has pulled out of the job because he can no longer afford the public liability insurance.
G Trickey, via email.