Confidence hits record high as recovery grows

CONFIDENCE in the Scottish construction industry is at its highest point in more than five years.

Employers feel more positive than at any stage since the beginning of the economic downturn according to the latest Scottish Construction Monitor, a quarterly survey of the membership of the Scottish Building Federation.
The Monitor charts industry confidence on a quarterly basis, asking members how confident they feel about the prospects for their business over the next 12 months compared to the previous year.
Following a nine-point drop in the final quarter of 2013, the latest survey shows confidence has rebounded to PLUS 20, its highest rating since the Construction Monitor began in 2008.
Scottish Building Federation Managing Director Vaughan Hart said, “This is the third consecutive quarter that the industry’s confidence has been in positive territory.
“This is the first time that the percentage of companies more confident about the future outlook for their business compared to the last year has risen above the 50% mark.
“At the same time, it is important to keep these results in perspective. Recovery across the different sectors of the industry remains mixed. While there has been strong growth in infrastructure and private commercial activity, housebuilding remains flat. The challenge now must be to ensure the recovery is sustainable in the longer term. Industry confidence needs to reach a point where companies have the confidence to invest long-term in rebuilding skills and capacity. I am not convinced we have reached that point yet.”
The survey also asked construction employers a series of questions about occupational health. It found that only a small minority of companies use an external supplier of occupational health services or employ an occupational health adviser.
A majority of employers carry out workplace health risk assessments and offer employee toolbox talks on topics such as noise, hand arm vibration and skin and respiratory conditions.