UK skills famine sees Portuguese bricklayers earn £1,000 a week

Manpower, a UK recruitment agency, said Portuguese bricklayers were earning £1,000 a week owing to a lack of skilled British tradespeople. The job would normally attract wages of £500 a week. 

Manpower added that one in three construction companies has previously had to turn down bidding opportunities because of a lack of skilled workers. 

A surge in job creation by larger companies is set to occur next year according to a survey of more than 2,000 employers. 

Mark Cahill, Manpower managing director, said: "This year was a bumper year for jobseekers, with the highest level of job creation in 40 years. Next year will begin with employers in an even more confident position and we are optimistic about job prospects for the rest of the year. The main catalyst is big business hiring." 

A Department for Communities and Local Government spokesperson said: "In November, ministers agreed with the housebuilders to create tens of thousands of jobs and apprenticeships on sites across the country to nurture home-grown talent for years to come." 

A report has recently predicted that there will be a "huge gap" in UK construction skills in the next three years and no one is sure how to bridge the gap.

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