While the construction industry is one of the first sectors to feel the full force of the recession, it is among the last to show signs of recovery, reports Construction News.
According to CN, the construction workforce grew to a seven-year high in Q2 2016, and is 10 per cent higher than its recessionary trough, it is currently sitting comfortably below pre-recession levels, when nearly 2.6m people worked in the industry. Construction saw a steady rate of growth in Q3 following June’s vote to leave the EU, according to the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors.
Quantity surveyors and estimators are receiving the highest increases within this sector, showing a clear demand for more people, according to Hays. The construction sector accounts for about 6% of the UK economy, and things are looking brighter in the sector than at any point since 2007. Furthermore, 2015 was the best year for British builders in almost 20 years. Graduate-level opportunities are also on the rise due to experienced professionals being in short supply. Adzuna says that advertised vacancies in the construction sector surged to 50,007 in March, compared to 39,412 in March 2014.
This RICS’ Construction Market Survey for Q3 showed that a net balance of 19 per cent of surveyors had seen workloads rise in the last quarter, representing only a modest increase in growth after a net balance of 17 per cent of surveyors saw activity rise in Q2 in the run-up to the referendum. The report suggests the main driver behind increased workload is largely due to Private housing, with 27 per cent more respondents seeing an increase than a decline in activity in Q3. This is in contrast to private commercial work, which has broadly remained flat in Q3.
The same report also shed light on the current skills shortage in the engineering sector. Sir James Dyson, one of the UK's leading entrepreneurs, regularly bemoans the shortage of engineers in Britain. He recently donated £12m to set up The Dyson School of Design Engineering, based in South Kensington, to tackle the crisis. The supply may be low but the demand for engineers is at an all time high as figures were released that there were 90,080 engineering jobs listed on Adzuna in February of this year.