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The Construction News Barometer was a survey sent to the chief executives, chairmen and senior directors of the top 100 contractors in the UK, ranked according to turnover. Key statistics based around these results are listed below:


  • The single biggest concern is a lack of skilled staff, identified by almost 80 per cent of respondents.
  • Fears over an impending skills crisis were highlighted by the CITB earlier this month when it warned of a skills “time bomb” in construction, as 400,000 people retire in the next 10 years.
  • Housebuilders have also raised their fears over the lack of skills to meet growing demand, according to a Home Building Skills report released this month by groups including the Home Builders Federation and the National House Building Council.
  • Industry leaders see the greatest business opportunities over the next year in housebuilding, rail and education - each selected by 70 per cent of respondents.
  • Looking further ahead, sectors expected to have the strongest work opportunities in five years’ time include energy, roads, health and offices.
  • Energy is the sector that most expect to enter in the next two years, while a handful of firms expect to leave education, health, retrofit and FM.
  • Energy is also the sector that contractors most want to see given greater emphasis by the government (39 per cent), followed by schools and hospitals (25 per cent) and new housing (18 per cent).
  • More than 80 per cent of contractors have seen a supplier stop working on more than one of their projects in the past year.

UK Economy

  • The government’s emphasis on long-term infrastructure spending as part of this year’s spending review receives a thumbs-up from industry leaders, with 68 per cent saying the post-2015 plans for infrastructure spending will provide a “significant boost” for the industry.
  • However, 57 per cent think a Labour government would spend more on infrastructure than the coalition government, and 96 per cent believe the current government needs to do more to boost construction growth.
  • The industry’s leaders are hopeful turnover will return to pre-recession levels by 2015, but fear rising costs, skills shortages and supply chain failure will make for a painful recovery.
  • Almost 90 per cent say private sector clients are more interested in developing schemes than a year ago. However, the vast majority feel that clients place greatest emphasis on low bid costs during procurement.
  • Low tender prices are the biggest challenge facing businesses today, followed by a lack of work, skills shortages and late payments.
  • Leaders’ views on which party is best for the industry are very close: 47 per cent say the Conservatives, ahead of 43 per cent for Labour.
  • However, as the industry moves out of the downturn and work starts to pick up, fears over rising material prices and labour costs are highlighted by 52 per cent and 60 per cent of respondents respectively as among their biggest concerns for the next year.
Construction News interview the top 100 CEO's & directors for their opinion on the Industry - View the article: here

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