The latest survey conducted by Turner & Townsend show that London’s construction costs remain higher than the rest of the country, creating a two-tier construction market where London construction costs are 27.7% higher than the UK average. London remains the fifth most expensive place to build in the world, behind New York, San Francisco, Hong King and Zurich. The report portrays a positive picture for the global construction industry- one in which there is a growing volume of projects, but with a tightening supply of workers, and skills shortages in certain disciplines. There is an expectation of increasing construction activity around the globe with a few exceptions, notably a reduction in the UK.

The report analysed 43 key markets, and found that 56% of these are suffering skills shortages of one form or another.

The report also highlights the strong regional variations in labour costs:

“The markets with the lowest construction wages are in Africa and India where hourly wages can range from USD 1-3. No longer having the cheapest labour, Chinese construction workers now average USD 5 per hour.”
Average hourly wage (USD) by region.
(Image via Turner & Townsend).

Steve McGuckin Global Head of Client Programmes stated “Global construction volume is on the up and the future is looking bright. But the industry faces more work with fewer workers. The challenge for the supply chain is how to convert this increased output into profit.”

Growing skills shortages is an issue which has been familiar to the global construction industry for some time. However, this year’s International Construction Survey indicates that the problem has worsened. Overall, 24 of the 43 markets analysed in the survey are suffering from a skills shortage, up from 20 last year.

With global growth expected to increase over the coming years, thanks in large part to an improvement in the American economy, construction professionals across the globe should be feeling optimistic about the career prospects.

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