With the end of the summer holidays – and possibly the sunshine – it’s a good time to look back on the previous quarter’s performance and take an educated guess at what the remainder of 2018 has in store.
Summer Sunshine Aids Recovery
Despite the slow start to the year, the construction industry has bounced back over the last quarter, expanding by 0.9%. Thanks to the warm weather, firms were able to recover time lost to the unusually cold conditions of early 2018. In fact, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) reported that construction output reached a record monthly level in June 2018, 30.2% higher than the lowest point in the last five years (July 2013).
According to Barbour ABI, there were marked increases in new public housing and private industrial output of 10.4% and 6.2% respectively, the latter being supported by the continuing strength of warehousing construction. Glenigan reported that civil engineering works were up 15% in August 2018, with a massive 73% rise in utilities work.
In July 2018, there was also a 6.5% increase in contracts awarded, equating to 975 contracts worth a total of £4.6 billion – more than enough to keep everyone in work. Of these contracts, nearly 36% of them were for residential projects, with commercial and retail projects accounting for approximately 25%. Industrial projects made up roughly 11% of the value.
The majority of the contracts were awarded in London, which had 28% of all contract awards including three of the largest contracts. 17% of the contracts were awarded in the Midlands, while the North had 24%.
Looking to the Future
Looking ahead, the Construction Products Association is forecasting 2.3% growth for the industry in 2019, when we will be operating in a post-Brexit Britain.
With construction output growing, there will be continued demand for skilled staff to deliver these latest rounds of contract awards. In fact, the RICS UK Construction and Infrastructure Market Survey for Q2 2018 cites skilled labour shortages as the third-biggest challenge for businesses, particularly for professional services such as quantity surveyors, estimators, commercial managers, and claims and risk advisors.
If you are considering switching projects, this could well be the time to make a move and take advantage of the recent contract awards to work on an interesting new venture. Alternatively, sign up for our job alerts to be kept informed of the latest vacancies that suit your requirements.
Construction Recruitment Director, UK & Canada
I am responsible for the Maxim Recruitment office in the UK where our team of recruitment consultants specialise in the recruitment of quantity surveyors, commercial managers, delay, dispute and claims consultants for civil engineering and building contractors and specialist construction consultancies. I am also responsible for growing our recruitment operation in Canada and the USA where we are increasingly busy. I have over 20 years’ experience in construction recruitment and enjoy working on both contingency and search/headhunting assignments for our repeat clients.