Construction might be the only sector of the economy that is growing, but its recovery is far from over. These are the words of Lesley McLeod, Chief Executive of Association for Project Safety (APS) who says members of the association are concerned about the impact of Brexit.
Recent data published by the Office of National Statistics shows that new work has increased by 1.7% in January. Private commercial and infrastructure lifted the sector which increased by 4.5% and 3.1% respectively. However, with shortages in building supplies continuing to cause disruption, it will be some time before the construction industry returns to pre-pandemic new work levels.
“It’s been nearly three months since the end of the Brexit transition period, and construction professionals are still very concerned that recovery is far from over,” comments Lesley McLeod, Chief Executive of Association for Project Safety. “Our members are still reporting difficulties in sourcing specialist materials and supplies. This is a worry as it’s both holding up projects in Northern Ireland it’s delaying the importing of materials from EU. They’re just stuck at ports.
“In addition, there is concern over the reciprocal recognition of qualifications. Professionals across the industry are worried they will no longer be able to accept work in EU countries or attract personnel for projects in the UK. As an association representing 3,900 members across the UK, we urge the government to ensure the construction industry – a major driver in the UK’s economic recovery after Covid-19 – to relax immigration rules. In doing so, projects will not be delayed due to lack of properly qualified and skilled professionals plus the industry will be able to re-establish with EU colleagues a mutual recognition of professional qualifications.”
Founded in 1995, the Association for Project Safety is a professional body dedicated to eliminating deaths, reducing injury and tackling ill-health associated with construction. It helps individuals and businesses achieve the highest professional standards in design and construction health and safety risk management. Members are across the UK and include those working in architecture, engineering, architectural technology, project management and surveying.
The Association for Project Safety recently formed a partnership with Cardo Crew, which offers wireless communication technology to the construction industry, as part of efforts to support the construction industry during uncertain times.
Shachar Harari, Chief Business Officer & Head of Cardo Crew, says: “The construction industry has had a hard time. Not only have workers had to adapt to social distancing and new ways of working, they have also been faced with shortages in both materials and skills. It’s been relentless, which is why we have partnered with the Association for Project Safety. We want to help its members in any way we can to ensure the construction industry is back on the road to recovery as quickly as possible.”