Trade bodies report construction surge
Output in the construction industry rose for the eleventh quarter in a row at the end of last year, data from leading trade bodies suggests.
All areas of the building sector contributed to the surge in the fourth quarter of 2015, the latest Construction Trade Survey suggests.
But the findings of the report show that growth was led by new building activity in the private housing, commercial and infrastructure sectors.
Skills shortages remain a concern for the industry, however, with more than half of the main contractors polled for the survey reporting recruitment difficulties.
Among the most sought-after workers in the final three months of last year were bricklayers, carpenters and plasterers.
The report was put together by the Construction Products Association (CPA) using data from Build UK, the National Federation of Builders, the Civil Engineering Contractors Association and the Federation of Master Builders.
Its findings stand in contrast to figures released last week by the Office for National Statistics suggesting construction industry output fell by 0.4% between October and December 2015.
According to the CPA’s findings, 23% of main building contractors reported that construction output had risen in the period.
Specialist contractors also said they experienced a rise in productivity, with 31% reporting a surge in output.
Small to medium-sized enterprises benefitted from the increase too, as some 6% of SME contractors said their workloads had jumped in Q4.
Commenting on the findings, Suzannah Nichol, chief executive of Build UK, said that efforts should now be focused on inspiring the next generation of workers to take on construction roles.
She said: “Whilst we are continuing to see growth in construction the market is very mixed and the difficulties in recruiting the right skills are causing very real concerns as labour costs rise.
“With an expectation of rising workloads over the coming 12 months Build UK will focus on inspiring young people and those looking for a change of career to choose construction whilst motivating the workforce to stay within the industry.”
February 29, 2016 | Share: