Midland Lead Comment: Q1 2021

Lynn Street, Sales & Marketing Manager Midland Lead is BMBI’s Expert for Lead.

Looking back over Q1, the construction sector saw continued recovery from the previous quarter. It was better than we could have hoped for.

Last year was all about having a plan A and plan B, but we activated plan C. In the event, it wasn’t as bad as we anticipated, despite continuous price increases, new import and export legislations, and Covid restrictions.

Turning our attention to the near future, this is summed up in the Spring edition of the latest Construction Product Association State of Trade Survey. The report predicts growth of 12.9% in construction output for 2021, largely driven by increased activity in private housing, infrastructure and repair and maintenance sectors. It also predicts additional growth of 5.2% in activity into 2022*.

This is positive news for construction, but it comes with its own challenges. For example, a major project like HS2 can have a knock-on effect on the availability of labour and skills, and hit the wider supply chain, as it can easily dominate resources.

Larger scale projects also bring into focus the overall shortfalls of the labour market. As an industry, we must increase the pipeline of skilled labour through structured training, job opportunities, and keeping the focus on a reliable supply chain.

We must continue to work at increasing diversity and encourage recruitment from other industries. It is crucial that construction is promoted as a resilient industry, providing many opportunities and a range of career prospects.

There is also a need for more specialised training facilities. As part of our ongoing commitment to supporting the next generation of roofers, Midland Lead works with a number of training facilities all over the UK. It is this kind of encouragement that we need to build on.

As we are based in an area with low unemployment, we continue to invest in our people by providing transferable training and qualifications – as ever, leading by example when it comes to investing in skills.

We are all becoming experts in making key decisions in these ever changing and challenging times, so let’s work together and make the next few months really count towards bridging the future skills gap.

*Source: https://www.constructionproducts.org.uk/

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