April 25, 2014
Construction workloads in the UK are growing at their fastest rate for twenty years, according to the latest quarterly survey from the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (RICS). The report claims that while this is welcome news, it is causing pressure in the construction market in terms of skills shortages which are starting to put the brakes on further growth and leading to reports that contractors are even turning down projects. This appears to be a particular issue in the South East of England where the report claims there are unmistakeable signs the market is overheating. The survey found the balance of firms reporting workload growth in the first quarter of this year reached +43, the highest figure since the survey began in 1994, with consistent growth seen in the private housing, commercial and industrial sectors in every part of the UK.
The survey also claims that growth is being hampered by increasing skills shortages, with 41 percent of respondents reporting shortages in quantity surveyors. Alan Muse, director of built environment at RICS, said: “Now that the industry is experiencing an upturn in workload that is broadening out across the whole of the UK, it must ensure it has the capability to capitalise on these opportunities.”