The latest industry report appears to confirm the view that improvement is gathering pace in the UK building sector.
In its latest state of trade survey, the National Specialist Contractors Council (NSCC) notes that a record high of 60% of respondents are anticipating ‘an increased workload for the upcoming year’. The NSCC includes as members, the Glass and Glazing Federation, British Woodworking Federation and the Door and Hardware Federation.
According to this survey, specialist contractors are seeing ‘tangible signs of more confidence in the industry’ with 34% intending to expand their business in the next quarter and 33% expecting to take on more employees.
Not all is good news as 26% of respondents also state that they are experiencing increasing difficulty finding the right candidates for specialist work. This is the highest it has been since Q2 2007. The NSCC asks the question whether this growth can be sustained.
The results of the quarterly survey also reveal the extent to which the industry is still widely ‘afflicted’ by the issue of late payment with 76% of respondents reporting payment between 30 and 60 days. Comments from respondents have included: ‘Late payment is a killer’ and ‘We have a good workload and repeat work but late payment means that our cashflow is always critical’.
“Given the improved outlook for specialist contractors, it is more important than ever that we safeguard the long term growth of the industry by investing in our workforce and ensuring fair payment practices are implemented throughout the supply chain,” stated Suzannah Nichol, Chief Executive, NSCC.
The NSCC contributes its findings to the State of Trade Survey published by the Construction Products Association (CPA), enabling the experiences of the specialist sector to be compared with the wider industry.
For further information, visit the website: www.nscc.org.uk