The fall in construction output, most notably in the repair, maintenance and improvement sector, provides a warning about the impact the current materials and skills shortages are having on post-pandemic recovery, says the Federation of Master Builders (FMB) in response to recent Construction Output figures published by the Office of National Statistics (ONS) .

Brian Berry, Chief Executive of the FMB said: “The continued fall in construction output this month, at 0.2%, signals construction’s recovery from the pandemic to be at risk. Activity within the sector has been hampered by severe material and skills shortages, which are delaying and preventing work. These effects have been particularly hard felt by the repair, maintenance and improvement sector, the backbone of the industry, where output has fallen 4.7% over the last three months. The Government should use the upcoming Budget to introduce a national skills strategy, that ringfences the necessary funding for future skills, enables greater numbers of builders to train, and also allows for sufficient HGV drivers to maintain robust supply chains.”