Construction ‘facing crisis point’

CEF chief John Armstrong
CEF chief John Armstrong

The construction sector is rapidly approaching crisis point as the lack of a functioning Executive leaves the industry looking at an empty schedule for projects veteran figure John Armstrong has warned.

Mr Armstrong, managing director of the Construction Employers Federation (CEF)was speaking on the publication of the CEF Trade Survey which showed a significant rise in firms expecting the current level of activity to remain the same or worsen in coming months.

“With only 59 schemes in-procurement at the mid-point in the financial year, there is a crisis point coming within the industry,” he said.

“When we also consider that the public sector capital budget is at its highest point since 2007 and several high-profile Executive Flagship schemes are not running to their initial financial plan, there should be an abundance of opportunities for contractors to tender for public works.

“This is far from the reality however and when added to the uncertainties of Brexit and rising costs, many companies now have legitimate concerns as to their forward work pipeline. This is incredibly frustrating given the cautious optimism that many firms had detailed in the survey, so focused as they are on growth and increasing employment.

“From our industry’s perspective it is now very clear, to prevent this looming crisis point, the Secretary of State must take action and we await the legislation that has been promised being published.”