The construction industry relies on self-employed skilled workers; however, during 2021, the number of self-employed workers in construction hit an 18-year low.

Before the pandemic started in March 2020, 881,000 registered self-employed workers supported the industry. Compare this to the first quarter of 2021, and this figure has dropped to 744,000.

The decline within the construction industry is not just within the self-employed sector. Across the whole construction industry, there has been a decline in workers. In the first quarter of 2020, there were 1.125m people employed within the construction industry. Compare this to 1.07m people during the final quarter of 2021.

Industry officials attributed this decline to older, self-employed individuals leaving the industry when the pandemic hit. Another factor could be those international self-employed workers left to return to their home countries at the pandemic and are unable to return due to Brexit.