construction worker stockA growth in construction output across the UK in August failed to offset a fall in output over the quarter, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) has found.

Construction output grew 0.6% month-on-month in August 2017, predominantly driven by a 1.7% rise in all new work thanks to private housing, which grew 2.3% and infrastructure, which increased by 3.6%.

According to ONS data the output in August 2017 was 3.5% higher than it was at the same time last year.

However, construction output shrank by 0.8% in the three months to August 2017 compared with the previous three months due to decreases in both repair and maintenance, which fell 0.6% and all new work, which fell 0.9%.

Responding to the figures, Kier Construction Scotland’s regional business development manager, Gordon Reid, said: “It’s encouraging to see construction output growing month-on-month and these positive figures echo Kier Construction Scotland’s performance, where our robust set of financial results show that we are expanding our order book and providing diverse and local employment and training opportunities throughout Scotland.

“We have recently been appointed as a partner on the £160m Aberdeenshire Council Social Housing Improvement Framework and we are also seeing steady growth from the education, health and heritage sectors.

“While these exciting projects bring the chance to attract new talent, the sector is facing a skills shortage and a lack of attraction by youngsters to careers in the construction sector which is exacerbated by poor careers advice. To help combat this, Kier has pledged one percent of our workforce who will act as school career ambassadors in a bid to change the outdated perceptions of working within construction and to highlight the breadth of career opportunities that the industry offers and the significant boost that the sector delivers to the economy.”

Allan Callaghan, managing director of Cruden Building & Renewals, added: “While there is no doubt that the construction industry has faced significant challenges in recent months, including economic and political uncertainties, the house building industry in particular, remains resilient.

“In fact, at Cruden, our order book has continued to grow, and we have recently reported our eighteenth consecutive year of profitable trading.  Proof in itself that quality, affordable homes remain in high demand.

“It’s important that we look ahead and ensure we have the right skills and resources in place to continue to grow. We invest heavily in our Cruden Academy to do exactly that – delivering best practice training and education as well as an award winning modern apprenticeship programme.

“I’ve no doubt the construction sector will continue to weather the storm and Cruden in particular will continue our steady and sustainable growth over the coming months and into 2018.”