The 4th edition of our report reviews the UK Construction Contractors Market, against a backdrop of constrained public sector funding, ongoing Brexit uncertainty and the consequences of the 2019 General Election for construction.
The construction industry continues to face acute labour shortages in specific areas – notably trades such as scaffolding, bricklaying, roofing, carpentry, plastering and plant operatives. In addition, there is an increased demand for non-construction professional, technical, IT, and other office–based staff and a high demand for construction managers and project managers.
Margins remain under pressure in 2019 and 2020 influenced by rising material costs and wage inflation. With competition for construction work increasing, large contractors have been considering small and medium-sized contracts in a bid to maintain workloads and boost finances. This has increased competition with smaller, regional companies who have struggled to compete, leading to insolvencies among SMEs and their supply chains.
Brexit remains a key factor influencing the forecast with the continued uncertainty impacting expansion plans for businesses as well as consumer spending and confidence. This lack of clarity about the future of the UK outside the EU is beginning to have more marked implications for the construction sector particularly in the form of deferred investment levels.