Sunnier outlook for specialist contractors

Grant Prior 10 years ago
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Workloads are picking-up among specialist contractors as nearly half of firms reported an increase in enquiries during the first quarter of this year.

The latest NSCC trade survey showed 44% of specialists enjoyed an increase in enquiries in the first quarter of 2012 – up from 32% the previous quarter.

Orders increased at 37% of subcontractors – up from 30% last time.

The increases represent the highest rate of improvement in enquiries and orders reported by the NSCC for three years.

The fledgling recovery has sparked cautious optimism among specialists with 47% of respondents anticipating an increase in workload over the next 12 months.

But the majority are still planning less than three months and one firm ruefully reflected  “it feels as though the economic spring has sprung – however as we have seen you can have the best March on record only to be hit by a snowball in early April – who really knows what is going on?”.

Specialists continue to be blighted by late payment with only 3% of firms being paid within 30 days.

NSCC Chief Executive Suzannah Nichol said: “To overcome the effects of the recession, the construction industry needs to work together to protect the supply chain.

“Without a knowledgeable, efficient and skilled workforce, employed by a multitude of specialist contractors, the industry cannot deliver the infrastructure, facilities and services necessary for our economy to function let alone grow.

“Unsurprisingly, this is why fair payment continues to be cited by specialist contractors as the number one measure that would provide support.”

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