Brick shortage threatens house building plans, warns Federation of Master Builders

Will Green is news editor of Supply Management
29 April 2015

An increasing shortage of bricks is threatening future house building plans, a trade body has warned.

The Federation of Master Builders (FMB) said almost two-thirds of construction SMEs are waiting up to two months for brick deliveries while a quarter are experiencing delays of up for four months. A further 16 per cent are waiting between six to eight months.

Brian Berry, chief executive of the FMB, said: “The brick manufacturers are working hard to reignite their kilns which were mothballed during the recession.

“However, in the meantime, let’s make sure small local house builders are not overlooked in favour of large firms when it comes to manufacturers meeting requests for new bricks.”

Berry also expressed concern at a shortage of bricklayers, with more than twice as many firms reporting difficulties recruiting them compared to a year ago. He called on a new government to “set the right framework in terms of apprenticeship funding and apprenticeship standards”, and he said more construction firms should engage with training.

The FMB, which is also predicting a rise in materials and output costs, said: “The increasing shortages of bricks and bricklayers will threaten future house building plans.”

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