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UK’s Infrastructure Sector Offers Job Seekers Security in Uncertain Times

The World is changing; or so it seems right now. With monumental political changes across the globe, and general uncertainly in the global markets it's hard to feel anything is 100% secure in construction or any industry for that matter at present.

With mixed signals being reported as to the trends for various sectors in construction currently, the outlook for the Infrastructure sector in the UK seems a ray of shining light with ambitious mega projects in the UK making headlines in recent months.

Back at the beginning of the year a report generated by Experian stated that “Infrastructure is predicted to be the strongest performing sector over the next three years” and forecasted output to hit a record high of £22bn by 2018.

Talks of a recession due to Brexit seeming to have been over exaggerated (for now at least), however with Article 50 not being triggered until 2017 at the earliest, we are certainly heading into uncertain times. Nobody really knows the effects that this will have on the general UK economy and the construction industry specifically.

In previous years, any downturn in the market has seen numerous sectors go through difficult periods. Particularly where projects are privately financed. Projects are often redesigned and scaled back, potentially they go back out to tender or are completely put on hold or cancelled all together. Due to infrastructure being largely government funded, we have seen it fair better than other sectors during recessions in the past. We often look to the government to stimulate activity by fiscal and monetary policies and whether it be a conscious decision or not to do this, they have certainly injected some positive news to the Infrastructure sector in recent months.

Two major infrastructure projects have dominated recent press releases across the UK: Heathrow Airport third runway; and the HS2 network. 

HS2 Facts:

  • The total HS2 network will be 330 miles connecting the North and South together.
  • The full network would concrete an area the size of Manchester.
  • Phase 1 of HS2 is predicted to boost 40,000 jobs, boosting the economy of the North and the rest of the UK as a whole.
  • More than half of the 140 mile route between London and Birmingham will be in cuttings or tunnels.
  • The network is expected to generate benefits of 59 billion – including wider economic impacts.

Heathrow Airport Facts:

  • Over £147Bn in economic growth
  • 180,000 jobs created either directly or indirectly as a result of the project (40,000 at the Airport)
  • Improved public transfer links, making Heathrow a UK accessible airport rather than a London accessible airport
  • Improved cargo facilities to assist businesses with importing and exporting goods
  • Upgrades to the M25 Motorway

Both these Infrastructure projects have a direct impact on employment at a local and national level. Combined there is the potential for 80,000 jobs within the construction industry. With each tender awarded, contract signed, and Gantt chart submitted for a timeline to completion, the major factor all companies will be considering is the workforce over the coming months and years.

Maxim Recruitment are seeing a slight bias towards more vacancies in the Civils and Infrastructure sector currently and for those job seekers weighing up potential moves in the near future, it might be worth paying special attention to projects in this sector which arguably could add a degree of extra security moving forward.

It can sometimes be hard to move sectors as a Construction Professional, however Maxim Recruitment are on hand to discuss your options if you have any concerns. Likewise, Maxim Recruitment are looking for any experienced Quantity Surveyors or construction professionals with strong civil engineering and Infrastructure project experience for a range of clients predominantly in the Midlands, Northern Home Counties, London and the South East.

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Sharlene Britton

Office Manager, UK

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