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Labour Shortage

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COVID IS KEEPING PAINTERS BUSY

Professional painters in Europe are very busy. Due to the large amount of home renovations and the ongoing shortage of skilled professionals, painters simply cannot keep up with the workload. Any further help from manufacturers to work faster and cheaper is much appreciated. These are some of the findings of the Painter Insight Monitor 2021, conducted by USP Marketing Consultancy among professional painting companies in 10 major European markets.

SHORTAGE OF SKILLED PROFESSIONAL PAINTERS IS SPREADING ACROSS EUROPE

The European professional paint industry is facing a continuous shortage of skilled labour. Year after year, the outflow of labour (mostly retirements) exceeds the inflow (newly trained craftsmen). This development is the biggest future challenge for professional painting companies in Europe and this problem is likely to get even worse in the upcoming years. These are some of the findings of the Painter Insight Monitor 2020, conducted by USP Marketing Consultancy among professional painting companies in 10 major European markets.

ONE THIRD OF THE EUROPEAN ARCHITECTS EXPERIENCE LABOUR SHORTAGE IN THE EXECUTION OF PROJECTS

The labour shortage in the European construction market is growing, a development we have seen in several studies on specific sectors like for instance painters and contractors. On the one hand, it seems hard to motivate younger generations to pursue careers in construction, mainly due to a persistent image of construction jobs to be low-status and low-wage jobs. On the other hand, due to the ageing population in Europe, a substantial amount of skilled workers will leave the construction labour market as they are due to retire in the next decade or so. The net result is an increasing labour shortage which is increasingly affecting the construction market.

BREXIT AND THE CONSTRUCTION INDUSTRY; BRITISH ARCHITECTS FORESEE STRONG DECREASES IN THE VOLUMES

Regardless of our perspective on the matter, we can all agree that the topic of Brexit is shrouded in volatility. As the situation changes day by day, any predictions about how the Brexit will come in effect are mere speculations. Regardless of the outcome of Brexit, the current uncertainty is already taking its toll on the construction sector in the UK, as became apparent in the results of the latest version of the European Architectural Barometer (Q2 2019), for which we interviewed architects from eight European countries including the UK about turnover and order book developments, as well as about the theme ‘labour shortage’.

HUGE OUTFLOW OF PROFESSIONAL PAINTERS EXPECTED IN EUROPE

In the overall construction and installation markets, the workload of professionals is increasing due to a growing labour shortage, both qualitative and quantitative. For construction-related professions, like being a professional painter for instance, it seems quite hard to acquire new generations of professionals, because youngsters seem less interested in these types of jobs. One reason is that these jobs have an image of being lowly payed, physically demanding and are considered low status professions. This makes it difficult to fill the gap in quality and quantity left by the older generations of construction professionals that will leave the market in the coming years when they retire. Furthermore, many companies active in the paint industry had to lay off staff during the crisis and many of these professionals got new jobs in other industries and are not coming back.

GERMAN AND POLISH INSTALLATION COMPANIES ARE HINDERED IN THEIR GROWTH DUE TO PERSONNEL’S SHORTAGE

2018 was a great year for the construction and installation sector, with high growth rates. Following a couple of years of high growth, the increasing work overload lead to an increase in the number of vacancies. More than 40% of the Polish and German installation companies are having at least one vacancy for installation related functions. These are some of the results of the Q3 and Q4 2018 report of the European Mechanical Installation Monitor with the theme ‘Direct ordering at the manufacturer’. This report is based on 900 successful interviews with HVAC installers and plumbers in six European countries.

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