Big infrastructure jobs and post-Brexit labour shortages push up pay packets

Weekly pay packets for freelance tradespeople rose above £1,000 last month, according to Hudson Contract.

The payroll firm recorded a 1% increase in average pay to £1,002 in December 2022, with subcontractors working in equipment and operator hire, general construction, joinery and surfacing all hitting all-time highs.

The average pay packet across the entire year was £945 per week, an increase of 4.5% against 2021.

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The supply of skilled tradespeople has dwindled since Brexit, according to Hudson Contract

Hudson Contract managing director Ian Anfield said the labour market was still feeling the effects of coronavirus support schemes, while major infrastructure schemes like Hinkley Point and HS2 have created extra demand for skilled labour.

“Housebuilders pushed ahead to get homes out of the ground before big changes to building regulations in the summer and consumers have been spending savings built up during lockdowns on home improvement projects,” he said.

“With Brexit, we have consistently said the impact would be felt gradually over time and we are seeing the supply of skilled tradespeople from Europe withering on the vine.

“Europeans would always come here to work and then go home again but now nobody is replacing them. The routes for working visas are not practical for most construction companies and smaller businesses.”