Weekly News Bulletin – 3rd August 2018

Earlier this week we saw positive news from the Construction Enquirer about forecasted industry growth in 2019 after a dip by 0.6% this year. Further growth expansion by 1.9% is expected in 2020.

Brexit uncertainties are still a factor for a decline in commercial sector construction, with the decline expected to continue over the next two years. However, on a more positive note, further growth will depend on large projects such as the HS2 and Hinkley Point C. Additionally, house building activities outside of London will be another factor in driving growth further.

Here at Metsec, we value apprenticeships and believe that giving the right opportunities to young people will ensure the steady growth of the industry. FE news suggests that some concerns have been raised by the industry about the shortage of skilled workers, due to Brexit and an ageing workforce. We share the opinion that more apprenticeships will be a crucial way to tackle this issue.

Redrow’s Group HR Director, Karen Jones, spoke to FE news on a more positive outlook regarding career paths and apprenticeships in the construction industry, following this year’s results from its annual research report.

More key news from FM world regarding the importance of apprenticeships showed a report by engineering consultancy, WSP, recognising the value and the significance of apprenticeships within the STEM sectors, and shedding a light on the value that these opportunities for young people can bring to the industry and society. We recommend having a look at both articles; do you believe that apprenticeships are crucial to ensure industry growth?

The Construction Index reported that a surprising 49% of construction employees are self-employed, according to the latest tax office numbers from 2017/2018. Despite the numbers, that is a 4% increase since last year. The government has tried to tackle the issue of ‘bogus self-employment’ through the stand-alone tax scheme CIS; however, the Unite union for the HM Revenue & Customs believes the government has failed to significantly cut down the numbers of self-employed workers within the industry.

Finally, PWE magazine shared a piece on the growing 4th Industrial Revolution (4IR), with many companies moving steadily past the ‘conception’ into the ‘evolution’ phase. According to the results from a survey by EEF, companies are now starting to experience the real benefits from their previous investments. The survey further shows that around 64% of the companies are familiar with the concept of 4IR, an increase of 20% compared to 2016. We would recommend having a read about the results of the EEF survey to gain a more in-depth understanding on the future of the industry in the UK.

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Construction growth to rebound to 2.3% next year
UK construction output is expected to bounce back to 2.3% growth in 2019 after dipping by 0.6% this year.

The value of apprenticeships in the construction industry
Concern has been raised by construction industry experts about a shortage of skilled workers.

Report shows social value of stem apprenticeships exceeds £6bn
A report by engineering consultancy WSP sheds light on the potential £6bn socioeconomic contribution of STEM apprenticeships by quantifying the social value of getting more young people into engineering.

Can half the UK construction industry really be self-employed?
Forty-nine percent of the UK construction industry’s workforce is officially self-employed – sort of – latest tax office numbers reveal.

Manufacturers boosting 4IR investments, but progress desperately needed
Manufacturers are boosting investment in 4IR technologies with new evidence that many companies have moved beyond the initial ‘conception’ phase and into the ‘evolution’ phase where they are seeing real benefits from their investments.