After a crazy 2020 when in March all of our lives came to an abrupt halt, it is music to our ‘construction ears’ that a 14% increase is projected during 2021!
Experts at the Construction Products Association initially predicted an 18% increase after the first lockdown. However, after considering the impact of the second wave and the current Covid-19 restrictions, it’s now believed that the construction sectors will see a ‘W’-shaped recession and recovery and a slightly lower increase of 14% this year.
The main drivers are expected to be huge ongoing projects including HS2, offshore and nuclear projects, notwithstanding the constant high demand for new residential housing requirements within the private sector across the UK. Once restrictions end, hopefully sooner rather than later, construction should pick up in line with the expected economic recovery throughout late 2021 and 2022.
There is some speculation and uncertainty about the future construction of retail and office spaces within the commercial sector. It will be remarkably interesting to see how this emulates and how businesses may change how they operate. Maybe the working from home ethos may be retained, saving those businesses money as rental office space becomes unnecessary, after almost a year of staff successfully working from home.
It will be understandable if the construction sector bounced back quickly after the general impact of Covid-19 as, luckily for us, it was one of the least affected sectors compared say to hospitality, which has been heavily effected and almost flat for nearly a year!
Luckily, in many areas, infrastructure has escaped largely unscathed. Substantial numbers within construction are lone workers working outdoors and naturally resulting in less mixing of individuals when on site. At Recruiteasy, where we specialise in construction recruitment and employment, we have found that most workers have been able to continue to work safely and follow social distancing guidelines.
For those who are self-employed trades people, there was a huge demand for contractors privately during the first lockdown. This is most likely due to people having more time at home whilst being furloughed from their office jobs and, for example, deciding that this was an ideal time for home improvements!
This did come with issues, such as the shortages of certain building materials, e.g. ‘the plaster shortage’, which left many plasterers competing for supplies and limiting the amount of work they could take on.
Demands for new housing within the private sector is always high across most of the UK and once restrictions end, hopefully sooner rather than later, it should see a steep rise in line with the expected economic recovery throughout late 2021 and 2022.
Generally speaking, construction looks set to bounce back nicely and we are all looking forward to a time where Covid-19 is well behind us and not at the forefront of our minds. That will be a day to behold!