Survey can help construction market deal with tough times

Survey can help construction market deal with tough times

Construction trade bodies are urging their members to respond to a new business survey to help the sector cope with the current turbulent market conditions.

Rising costs and skills shortages are holding back business growth in several areas so BESA is urging all its members to provide feedback which can be used to lobby government, create business strategies and targeted actions to support the whole industry.

The quarterly Building Engineering Business Survey, which is carried out by the Building Engineering Services Association (BESA) in partnership with fellow trade bodies ECA, SELECT and SNIPEF, is now open and closes for responses on August 3rd. It covers the second quarter of the year to the end of June.

The last survey, covering the first quarter of the year, revealed a small bounce back for the sector with 58% of respondents reporting growth in turnover. Most also expected revenues to improve into the second quarter and 9 out of 10 thought business performance would improve significantly compared with the two previous years.

However, inflation was a major worry with 25% of firms citing the difficulty of forecasting the rate of price rises as a serious problem. With the Bank of England now predicting further increases in the coming months, this is likely to be a continuing area of concern for survey respondents.

BESA is keen to understand how prices and shortages are affecting profitability because material and labour rates are already priced into many contracts.

The difficulty of attracting the right calibre of staff is another issue for contractors along with finding time and resources for training. More firms did say, however, that they were planning to increase direct employment and cut back on their use of agency and sub-contractor staff.

“It is vital you take part in this survey to help us understand the state of trade so we can better represent your interests to the government and key stakeholders,” said BESA’s legal and commercial director Debbie Petford.

“It will be very helpful to know if the expectations stated in the first survey of the year were realised – and if plans for recruitment came to fruition. This kind of market intelligence is so important to inform our decision making and can help us when lobbying government.

“By collaborating and sharing knowledge in this way, you will also be helping us to raise the industry’s profile with decision makers and the business press,” she added.

The survey should typically take no more than five minutes to complete, and answers are confidential. However, for the chance to win £200 in Amazon vouchers, respondents can choose to provide an email address.

Please respond to the survey here by August 3rd.

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