The steelwork sector has been among the worst hit by falling orders and cut-throat bidding over the last two years.
But the signs are that the recession-hit industry may have turned the corner, according to Jack Sanderson, president of the British Constructional Steelwork Association.
Speaking to BCSA members in London, he said there were tentative signs of a recovery in new orders for small and medium sized projects in the private sector, but he warned that “significant overall improvement is not expected until the beginning of 2012”.
Sanderson said that output for the steelwork sector fell last year from 926,000 tonnes to 919,000 tonnes in 2010 and is expected to remain stable this year.
After that output is forecast to rise by 4% in 2012 and again by 5% the following year, taking the industry back to around 1m tonnes by 2013.
The BCSA announced that Sarah McCann-Bartlett would be the new director general when Dr Derek Tordoff steps down after 35 years at the trade body.
She brings 19 years experience working in both trade associations and the construction industry.
Until 2001 she was president of Woolmark Americas Inc, where she was responsible for marketing the Woolmark brand in the US and Canada.
More recently she worked for the Building and Plumbing Industry Commissions of Victoria in Australia.