CIVILS contractors have warned that the “flatlining” infrastructure sector spells trouble for the UK economy.
In what is claimed to be the first national poll since the EU referendum, the Civil Engineering Contractors Association (CECA) has published the results from its quarterly Workload Trends Survey.
Six out of ten sub-sectors reported falling workloads in Q2 2016 while contractors are having ongoing difficulties in recruiting skilled workers with 43 per cent and 34 per cent of respondents reporting a “dissatisfactory supply” of staff and skilled operatives respectively.
CECA said that although contractors continue to report rising employment, this is likely to slow down if the market remains “sluggish”.
Alasdair Reisner, CECA chief executive said, “These results spell real trouble for the UK economy, and should act as a major warning sign to policymakers. We know that infrastructure investment is a driver of economic growth. Given the recent disappointing economic forecasts following the Brexit vote, our figures show that the market is slowing just as the country needs it to speed up.
“The new Government can’t afford to sit on its hands. There are existing committed programmes of work where we need to see the delivery of schemes – now – if this situation is to be reversed. Unless the Government kicks on to get spades in the ground, we will be looking at a dramatic slowdown in growth, which is bad news for the 200,000 people who work in our sector, and bad news for the economy as a whole.”