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NSCC say specialist contractors have seen rise in work demand

A rise in enquiries and orders recorded in the first quarter of 2015.

The latest State of Trade Survey figures provided by the National Specialist Contractors Council (NSCC) showed that demand has increased in the first quarter of 2015.

According to the survey, there have been huge increases during this time in new orders and enquiries experienced by specialist contractors.

The findings from the NSCC are incorporated into the survey that is published by the Construction Products Association (CPA), which means that specialist contractors are represented within the context of the wider construction industry.

Of those specialist contractors who responded to the survey, 65% say enquiries have increased, which is up from 27% in the previous quarter, while new orders have also been experienced by 54% of specialist contractors.

However, this soaring demand has led to other problems according to the survey, with 47% of specialist contractors saying that recruiting skilled labour has been an issue. This is in stark contrast to the 2% who believe that type of recruitment has been easier.

At its highest level in 14 years, this problem in finding skilled employees has led to 28% of specialist contractors finding it impossible to bid for new work.

More than half of the specialist contractors have seen tender prices rise in the last quarter, while the prices of suppliers are also on the up, keeping up with the demand. This has led to 82% of respondents experiencing higher prices from their suppliers for the second consecutive quarter.

There was further positive news, as specialist contractors do not seem to have been unduly affected by the General Election and the uncertainty created in the lead-up. Indeed, the outlook seems very encouraging, with 78% of specialist contractors expecting an increase in workloads in 2015, and 65% believe this rise will start in the next quarter.

Suzannah Nichol MBE, is the Chief Executive of the NSCC and while she is happy with the growth in construction, she stressed that demand issues need to be addressed.

“The growing construction market is great news for specialist contractors but we need to tackle head-on the skills crisis that is facing the industry,” she said.

“If we do not invest in recruiting and training people with the right skills, the industry will not be able to meet demand and this will impact on the wider UK economy.”