The construction sector looks set to grow as costs continue to increase, according to Build UK’s latest survey.
The company’s ‘The State of the Trade Survey’, which was carried out in conjunction with Glenigan, showed that over half (52%) of members of Build UK are anticipating a growth in workloads over the course of the next year.
The biggest concerns for builders are still labour supply and costs, with 39% of those surveyed reporting increased business costs and a 43% rise in labour costs over the last quarter.
In full, over 60% of contractors posted an increase in labour costs every year.
A significant proportion of contractors also raised their concern about recruitment difficulties, specifically in terms of technical, managerial and supervisory staff members.
53% of respondents said that skill shortages are one of the primary factors behind the recruitment difficulties, with just under half (48%) citing a lack of qualifications and 53% making reference to insufficient experience from many applicants.
Despite this, the figures show an improvement from the previous year where companies stated that 62% of applicants were lacking in the skills required to work in the industry and 54% were in need of further experience.
Suzannah Nicol, Chief Executive at Build UK, said that there are still mixed messages with regard to growth, although intelligence in the industry suggests an increase in activity levels during the course of the previous quarter.
She added that as employers are heading towards maximum capacity, they are experiencing rises in both labour and material costs. This once again shows the difficulty associated with recruiting suitable skills across all levels of work in the sector.
The formation of Build UK came in May last year after the National Specialist Contractors Council merged with the UK Contractors Group.
The group is now the representative for over 11,500 specialist contractors as well as many of the biggest trade associations and main contractors throughout the UK.