Construction industry boom – sustainable or too stretched?

It was announced in the media today that a large construction company has won a £200 million contract to start building 8 new schools in the Midlands area. Financing will be partly from the UK Government and the rest from a consortium. This project was originally planned for 2010 but was cancelled due to the way it was originally going to be financed. Finally, five years on an agreement on financing has been reached. These schools will obviously take time to build but at least its a step in the right direction.

DPSS has been taking a keen interest in the UK economy but would ask how feasible are these large projects?

At the moment the UK has given planning for;

3 x nuclear power stations – Wales and South West
7000 x new homes – Leeds area
1 x mining operation for potash – Yorkshire and National Parks
Fracking licences – All over UK

And not forgetting the £200 million contract to build new schools!

A suitably impressive shopping list we would like to venture.

Whilst this is good news for companies like ourselves who provide bespoke training for;-

Contract Management Courses
Procurement Training
Supply Chain Skills
Facilities Management, Logistics to name a few others. Lets just ask a few simple questions….

If more apprentices are shying away from building trades in favour of more attractive careers do we actually have enough young skilled workers entering the job markets – now and in the future?

If our population is ageing, who replaces experienced tradesmen in a short space of time?

Is alternative vocational training in schools and colleges such as Procurement, Contract Management and Supply Chain courses a sensible change of direction?

Should the Health and Safety industries be gearing up for a massive surge in demand?

Will the demand for raw materials in such a large scale cause a negative impact when negotiating prices?

The last and not the least – Has the Government have a plan to create all the necessary infrastructure to facilitate this massive boom in building and mining?

If all the above projects are to go ahead then we need to ensure we have enough man-power now.  Training in various sectors must be started sooner than later.  This will ensure that when the need for labour kicks off there will be the right people for the right jobs.  Ongoing staff development is essential to maintain these vast projects.

Health and Safety practises should work closer to these industries to try and form a more mutually beneficial relationship.  Standardisation of working practices might be an idea to help various industries form better relationships.

Another impact of this massive demand in new labour will be the possibility of higher wages = more ERS contributions to the Government and a richer economy.  Not to mention the other positive financial impacts on the corporate side.

We anticipate the Facilities Management sector to grow massively with the building of these new schools as well.  The same company who has won the £200 million contract has also been successful in winning the 25 year contract for looking after these buildings as well.

Contract Management will be a critical factor as well as any weak links in the chain could cost untold amounts in extra costs.

The UK must grow its economy but with its eyes wide open….




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