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Average salary in construction soars to £46,000 as UK loses EU workers

Tom Belger
Finance and policy reporter
Construction workers in the Victorian arches underneath the tracks at London Bridge station. Photo: Press Association

Average wages in the construction industry have soared as the UK loses EU workers because of Brexit, according to a recruitment firm.

Recruiters Randstrad said average pay in a sector survey had increased to £45,900 a year in 2018, a £3,600 rise in just 12 months.

The figures are even higher for site managers and for jobs in London. The average site manager surveyed said they took home £50,500 a year outside the capital, and others reported a £3,000 London premium.

Randstad said one senior site manager was earning £78,000 a year for a job in Welwyn Garden City, a huge leap on their previous £62,900 pay packet.

The firm said the trend came amid falling advertised vacancies in the sector.

Construction firms could be paying more because of a shortfall of workers caused by lower levels of EU migration to the UK.

READ MORE: UK firms still paralysed by uncertainty three years after Brexit vote


The figures may be welcomed by Brexit supporters concerned about the impact of migration on UK wages, but also suggest business leaders face a growing problem finding the staff they need.

Owen Goodhead of Randstad said: “The best senior site managers are earning close to an MP’s salary. While that’s good news for individuals, it’s potentially not such great news for the economy.

“Our research shows that construction workers from overseas are being put off coming to the UK and those that are here are thinking about moving elsewhere.

“This should be of huge concern to industry leaders and the government, especially in the capital, where nearly one in three people working in London’s construction sector were born in the EU.

“The shrinking pool of EU talent is already driving up wages – that’s the power of supply and demand. This builder Brexodus is the referendum’s inheritance.”

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