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Construction Positives on the Horizon

21st December 2011

I read a survey the other day which said 42 per cent of construction firms in the UK are expecting to increase workforce in 2012. People are quick to comment on the supposed struggles in the construction sector but it just goes to show that the outlook is brighter than many people think.

2012 could be a defining year for construction. There is no denying that the past couple of years have been tough, with many people – including the Government – scaling back on big projects, but slowly and surely, a corner is being turned and we are starting to see growth again.The recent Autumn Statement delivered by Chancellor George Osborne was a big boost and was a good way to finish the year on.

The Government appears to have recognised that investment in construction projects can deliver sustained economic growth and they have identified more than 500 infrastructure projects they want to see built over the next decade.

This is a positive step to improve the UK’s capacity for longer term growth, while the Government also looks for a far greater contribution from the private sector to deliver capital projects.

So, what does that all mean to us working within the construction sector? Well, to start with, it’s great to see the investment in big projects. That will have a big impact on employment and spreading funds through the supply chain.

Forecasts are predicting the housing market will see a 20 per cent rise in transactions over the next two years. There will be support for construction and the wider economy from the delivery of planned public sector capital projects, some of which have been delayed but can commence with Government funding.

Business confidence is fragile at the moment, especially with the current unpredictability of the Eurozone crisis, but the past couple of years have been the toughest for some time and it would be hard to imagine dropping back to 2008/09 levels, the height of the recession.

We firmly believe that at times like this it is even more important for businesses to work hard and invest in their employees. It’s good to see participation in the training courses we offer going from strength-to-strength; delegate numbers are increasing and businesses appear willing to spend more money in training than at any point over the past few years.

It’s these businesses that will see the greatest success going forward. By investing in their employees they will benefit from greater loyalty and greater productivity and by expanding their knowledge base it allows them to offer a wider range of services to their clients.

Businesses have done well to get through the past couple of years but now is the time to kick on and look to the future. It’s going to be tough but in my opinion, the industry is starting in a much better position in 2012, than it did 12 months earlier so let’s stay positive!

David Brooks,
Managing Director

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