Shortages for Roofing Contractors

The National Federation of Roofing Contractors (NFRC) found following their latest quarterly survey of members that Roofing Contractors are facing many shortages from skills to materials with not all managing to pass on their rising costs to their clients. 77% of roofing and cladding contractors have difficulties in recruiting suitable labour. This is up from 56% six months ago. 92% have seen the cost of their materials rise with only 70% increasing their tender prices.

According to the NFRC State of the Roofing Industry Survey, Slaters and tilers are the roles in most demand by contractors but a number of flat roofing roles such as in the built-up flat roofing and single ply discipline, were also reported as being difficult to find. One in ten NFRC members reported difficulties in recruiting cladders which could have an impact on the government’s £5bn cladding remediation scheme.

The Q3 State of the Roofing Industry survey, which was conducted by Glenigan on behalf of the NFRC also found:-

  • A net balance of 40% of roofing contractors reported growing workloads, down from 54% in the previous quarter
  • A balance of 28% of members reported higher enquiries
  • The north of England and Scotland saw the highest levels of growth, with Wales being the only part of the UK that saw workloads and enquiries fall on the previous quarter
  • 77% of roofing firms reported a deterioration of material availability over the quarter, with 31% reporting shortages of ‘all materials’.
  • Ahead of COP26 only 48% of roofing contractors were developing or considering developing a net zero strategy.

Phillip Campbell, NFRC’s head of policy said: “The headlines recently have been focused, rightly, on HGV driver shortages, but the next ticking time bomb is construction skill shortages, particularly in roofing. We have seen skill shortages become a big concern for roofing contractors throughout this year and our most recent survey found that three quarters of our members are now having recruitment difficulties on all sorts of positions from roof slaters and tilers to cladders”.

He carried on to say: “More generally, whilst it was encouraging to see the roofing and cladding industry grow again this quarter, we saw the rate of growth slow, particularly in the domestic, repair, maintenance and improvement sector which could be the result of ongoing material and skill shortages. However, Roofers continue to remain optimistic for the future”.

Allan Wilen, Glenigan economics director said: “Roofing contractors’ workload continued to recover strongly during the third quarter and contractors anticipate a broadening in growth over the next 12 months. The rise in workload has been accompanied by widespread disruption to material availability and higher material costs, pressures that are now feeding through as a rise in contractors’ tender prices”.