In Maxim Recruitment’s capacity of watching the buoyancy of the jobs market in UK construction and quantity surveying, we are always eager to report on the state of the UK economy. While early reports this year have concluded that the economy is on an upward trend, it is still important to keep abreast of what is going on. With just one year until the next general election, all parties will be laying out their plans for the coming years and we need to gauge how this will affect the jobs market.
We can already show you what plans the current coalition government has laid out, and how they might affect UK construction and UK infrastructure.
UK infrastructure needs investment
The Arcadis report published a month or so ago warns that without more investment in the UK’s buildings and infrastructure, the recovery of the economy will not rise at the necessary rates.
They claim that compared to other countries with advanced economies, the UK is failing miserably. With only 28% of our GDP generated from built assets in 2013 which in real money is £412billion, we lag behind other countries classified in the same category. The average for advanced economies averages 35%; and the UK is way below the global average of 40%.
Arcadis goes on to predict that our growth over the next ten years is likely to fall to 18%. They do acknowledge that we get the best value from our built environment but without greater investment, they feel that full growth cannot be achieved.
How the figures play out
There are some concerns that most growth is seen in UK construction and then in the domestic rather than the commercial sector. The figures speak for themselves with increases of 23.1 and 1.3 respectively. The major difference is plain to see. Worryingly UK infrastructure recorded negative growth of -4.8% over the same period (pre-recession 2008 – the end of 2013).
That is way behind big players such as China, USA, India and Japan; even below Germany, Mexico and France, coming in at number eight in the top ten.
Reassurance for UK infrastructure
In a H M Treasury report published at the end of last year, the government acknowledges that UK infrastructure and investment is at the heart of the economy. They claim to be putting long-term investment into the areas that count i.e. roads, railways, flood defences, energy and telecommunications.
The 2013 report highlights the government’s plans over the next ten years - if they aren’t interrupted by a general election change. They will concentrate on their Top 40 priority investments which include HS2, Crossrail, line capacity improvements in most parts of the country, Smart Motorway upgrades, upgrading of named major rail stations, investment in Heathrow and Gatwick Airports.
Other reassuring statements for the UK construction and infrastructure industries include:
•Thorough analysis of the UK’s infrastructure needs, both now and for the future
•Identifying which infrastructure is needed and delivering it
•More details available on funding, timing and the status of each project
•Dedicating a ‘hot-desk’ to UK infrastructure where the Top 40 project owners can voice concerns or be considered for the UK Guarantees Scheme
•Infrastructure UK will conform to the new Major Infrastructure Tracking unit so that the progress of the Top 40 investments are completely transparent
New session of parliament puts UK infrastructure in the spotlight
In the Queen’s opening speech for parliament, UK infrastructure remained high on the agenda. The government’s proposed Infrastructure Bill should get things moving from drawing board to reality. In fact, it is important that UK infrastructure remains high on the agenda of all parties wishing to be seriously considered as candidates to run the country.
The UK’s Infrastructure is at the heart of our economy and the country and UK construction jobs depend on it!
Jobs in UK construction
We remain optimistic that with the new streamlining procedures at the top of the agenda, UK infrastructure will flourish, speed up and provide a boost to the economy. So if you are looking for positions in UK construction or as a UK quantity surveyor in one of the Top 40 prime projects that are either started or waiting at the starting gates, there should be plenty of opportunities. Maxim Recruitment is happy to advise about senior roles. Please give us a call on 0870 243 0446 or forward your CV to us in readiness to discuss the possibilities with one of our consultants.