Worrying news for the construction industry as output falls

Construction output in the UK unexpectedly dipped in July, reversing a bounce seen in June, after the biggest annual fall in house-building in more than two years.

ONS Construction output fell by 1.0 percent on the month, which was higher year on year - with 2014 output for constructing falling 0.7 percent.

A major driver of the decline was a year-on-year fall in the amount of new housing being built, which dropped by 2.5 percent, the first decline since March 2013.

Construction of public housing fell by 15.6 percent, while the 0.8 percent growth in private construction was the slowest since March 2013 as well.

Construction fell sharply after the financial crisis and was slow to recover, but gained pace last year before easing in early 2015.

Michael Thirkettle, chief executive of construction and property consultancy McBains Cooper, said: "Today’s figures show a fall in output, which is worrying news for the construction industry.
“There is a chronic housing shortage and although we welcome government plans to build 200,000 new homes by 2020, there is no chance of that number being built unless desperate skills shortages in the industry are addressed.
“Restrictive immigration rules are scuppering housebuilding targets, as companies cannot recruit enough skilled foreign workers, in particular the likes of brickworkers and electricians.  
"Around 300,000 people left the construction industry between 2008 and 2010, and because training and apprenticeships take time, the government should allow skilled construction workers to be listed as an occupation with official shortages.
“This would allow more recruitment from outside the EU, which is impossible under current stringent immigration rules, and help kick-start the housebuilding programme."

Your News

If you've got a story that would be of interest to Builder & Engineer readers, send us an email


2017-05-31 13:33

The rate of Insurance Premium Tax (IPT) will rise by two per cent on June 1 to 12 per cent on all non-exempt transactions. Martin Bennison, managing director at construction finance firm Ultimate Finance, explains what this means for UK construction companies.

2017-05-25 08:41

Building Information Modelling (BIM) is growing in popularity and is now mandatory for centrally funded public-sector projects. Experts and the curious are gathering more and more frequently at dedicated congresses, exhibitions and workshops. Many people are now asking: Where does the UK stand on the issue of BIM and the digitisation of the construction industry?

2017-05-10 10:47

Opening site doors to more females is vital to plugging the construction skills gap, reports Claire Cameron

THE construction industry continues to be plagued by a well-documented skills gap with some suggesting the shortage could get worse before it gets better.

2017-05-08 14:27

If you work on a building site, are self-employed or have a zero-hours contract, you might be surprised to know you work in the ”gig economy”. This is the economy characterised by temporary work and irregular hours, pay and working conditions.

2017-03-29 10:31

Jeremy Gould, VP sales Europe, TomTom Telematics, discusses how technological developments in vehicle telematics have opened up new workflow management possibilities for the construction industry

2017-03-21 09:31

With the demand of oil increasing, it’s estimated that the Earth will reach its full capacity for oil consumption at some point within the next 20 years. This is despite the production of oil decreasing, and the construction industry is no exception to this, reports Niftylift.

2017-03-17 10:55

With construction firms leading the way in drone technology, Claire Cameron takes a closer look at how unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) can be used onsite

2017-03-07 16:20

While the physical safety of workers is prioritised on construction sites, mental health is often overlooked, reports Claire Cameron

Free E-newsletter Sign-Up

Sign up for our free e-newsletter

Looking for a company or service?