Professional services within the construction and real estate industry are seeing unprecedented rises in wages, which is causing a disparity between role levels and pay, explains Christine Scott, director of development and construction at real estate recruitment firm Madison Berkeley. ONS figures showed that business services within the construction industry saw the highest rise in pay at 10.2%. That’s a third higher than the rest of the sector. Generally construction wages rose faster than the rest of the UK economy, compared to an average increase across all UK industries of just 0.8%.
Christine Scott says that construction sites run the risk of stalling if professional services roles are not filled. Once again the problem appears to be lack of supply at the bottom of the professional services chain. “With no known apprenticeships happening in the professional services sector of the construction and real estate industry right now, it means that we are not attracting fresh talent. Demand to fill roles is so high that once graduates have completed their two years professional practice, companies are in competition to hire them. As a direct result wages are being pushed up and up. A recently qualified junior surveyor can command a base yearly salary of £45,000 and a £3,000 car allowance in some cases, but some smaller companies can’t meet that wage bill. There is a disparity in the role level and the wage. We are also seeing organisations offering signing on bonuses to secure people due to the shortage of candidates.”
Traditionally we think of the construction industry as being more trade based – roofers, builders, plasterers, electricians etc. However, construction PM’s, civil engineers, surveyors and business process managers are all vital parts of the industry and currently make up around 25% of the sector according to Statista.
Christine says that there is strong demand for these roles: “We currently have 138 live vacancies across five consultants at Madison Berkeley and 12% of those are in my department. We work with developers, property companies, client side organisations and consultancies recruiting for roles like Development Management, Project Management, Construction Management, Commercial Management, Building Surveying and Quantity Surveying.”
Now is definitely the time to get into construction and real estate, says Christine. “We launched my department at Madison Berkeley in May 2021. Early success is showing that we need to bolster our team. For example, we are ourselves looking for a junior development and construction recruitment consultant here at Madison Berkeley.”
Predictions for roles within the sector show figures are set to soar by 2025.
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