Construction Industry is Growing: Are we growing with it?

The construction industry, as many others, contracted on a huge scale with the downturn in the economy. But as the economy picks up, confidence has been hit hard and very little is being re-invested into growth, predominantly, there is a lack of skills in the industry as a whole. The knock on effect is very clear, despite the growth predictions; the industry is not equipped to keep up.

Consequently, either the industry will buckle again, claiming more companies and diminishing confidence again, or, quality and standards will be jeopardised as workers are expected to do more and un-skilled people will be employed just to keep up with demand. It is difficult to see which is the preferable outcome.

Up-skilling the industry has to be a big focus for everyone working in construction. It is the responsibility of company owners to make sure that their business is ready for the increase in work, as well as a morale obligation to the industry to make sure that the industry is growing in the best possible state.

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In addition, there is another spin off regarding this growth prediction. The onus of this growth is primarily on house building and infrastructure. Whilst the government has committed a big sum of money in the budget to the development of infrastructure, the house-building element is more volatile as market forces affect it. Lending constraints, increasing interest rates and low confidence in the economy may have an adverse effect on the demand for houses.

Signs on the whole are positive and should have a positive effect on confidence also. However, the biggest certainty of all is that the industry is ill equipped to grow with insufficient training.

At TDS Midlands, we practice what we preach. Not only do we actively encourage training and passionately believe it has had a positive influence on our business, but we have also created TDS Academy; the only academy of it’s kind in the UK to provide apprenticeship schemes for steelwork detailing and draughting. Having experienced a rapid increase in the number of apprenticeships enrolling through companies in the Academy, it is clear this is becoming a big consideration. But without doubt, there is a lot more up-skilling required to grow the industry.

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