Construction industry is living off its stock

Published:  09 March, 2011

LONDON: Contractors warn of another wave of job cuts next year unless the Government takes action to boost the industry in the Budget.

Companies making up the UK Contractors Group (UKCG) said that recent output figures for construction paint a misleading picture of an industry in good health, according to constructionenquirer.com

In a letter to the Chancellor ahead of the Budget, the Group's chairman James Wates, said the industry is "living off its stock".

He warned that the outlook for 2012 and 2013 "looks much bleaker because of substantial cut-backs in public sector capital spending and the fragility of the private sector".

He added that "The result is likely to be significant contraction and job losses in the industry."

Mr Wates said that poor visibility of work left in capital spending programmes had seriously eroded confidence about jobs and training."

In the pre-Budget letter, he warned the Chancellor: "There appears to be deliberate attempts to delay decisions and to obfuscate on forward plans. A prime example of this is the future of the Building Schools for the Future programme. The Sebastian James review was originally scheduled to report to ministers before Christmas.

"In March, we are still waiting for the Department for Education to signal its intentions," he stated.

"In health, reform of the system means there is virtually no information on future investment intentions, even in respect of repair and maintenance.

"There is also a concern that an unintended consequence of the localism agenda will be delays in the planning and procurement processes."

The UKCG called on government to issue a clear statement committing councils to awarding work on best value to stop the slide back to cheapest price procurement.

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