It has already been a common knowledge that the UK is now seriously facing under-supply of housing. Unluckily, this isn’t an abrupt or even a sudden phenomenon – some of the most pressing issues dealt by the country is the continuous imbalance between the demand and property supply on two areas, rental and sales market. Solutions for such issues have been thoroughly figured out. Successive UK Governments and construction companies have already been recognizing the seriousness of such issue and are now pleading to resolve it by ascending the number of houses that are added towards the annual housing stock.
At the very center of the housing crisis has been the construction sector. However, the establishment of the newly build properties might not fully address the recurring imbalance between demand and supply, it is undoubtedly some of the key pillars of a housing strategy. That is why, construction companies have been finding ways to not let these challenges overshadowed them. Construction trends and other emerging advanced tools are something that are now taken into consideration in the industry. A construction management software, for example, is an all-time preferable tool that is utilized for construction management purposes.
To go further, it is time to know what are these challenges presently faced by the UK construction industry. Take a look below:
- Skills shortage
The construction industry has been also dealing with the skills shortage. Several of UK firms have solid concerns over how they could attract their respective workforce after leaving the European Union. Now, the Office of National Statistics has reported that 28% of construction workers that are London-based are EU nationals. And not until when the government has confirmed that there is an ongoing risk about the shortage of skills and that it might probably go to worst.
Collectively, this specific uncertainty has taken a toll on the industry’s output. Starting from June of 2019 until the present, the lowest figures for the output of UK construction has been marked ever since the financial crash. The shortage of skilled laborers is considered as a recurring issue. If being left with the choice of hiring the ones who are not that skilled enough, extensive training programs must be implemented. The hired workers can be thoroughly monitored with the application of builders schedule software.
- Delivering on-budget and on-time
Projects must be delivered at the exact time and within budget and over a period of time until now, this always has been a recurring issue in the UK construction industry. In actuality, there are several things that can absolutely hinder a project from completing. Two factors are identified, maintenance of tools as well as productivity. These two factors can either break or make successful completion of project delivery.
However, 2020 is the year of continuous emerging technologies. Several advanced technologies and builders trends are designed and produced now in the software market aiming to improve the overall operations in the construction work. A construction scheduling software is being used by project managers and it guarantees an increase of productivity for the crew team.
- Dominating effect of Brexit
The process of leaving the European Union has been one of the most complex and work-extensive administrative undertakings attempted. This is in many areas that have been quite understood. But then again, there is always a sense among the involved construction companies that their particular interests have been totally neglected as the mere result. Apart from the policy rhetoric, they are yet to receive a benefit or strategy from the recent policy purposely designed to increase and improve the potential output capabilities.
On actuality, a variety of factors have been identified already that influenced the entirety of the construction sector’s performance. Like the majority of industries, Brexit uncertainty has been playing a defining role – and that is building a new set of challenges that might take too long to be effectively resolved.
- Access to Finance
A survey that is being conducted by none other than NHBC Foundation has interestingly found that 20% of companies are considering the availability of funds as their biggest concern in the near future. And actually, there are several explanations for this. Traditional financial institutions as well as banks have adhered to as a rigorous lending processes. Unquestionably, this made the process of obtaining loans extremely time-consuming and more than complicated.
With this thing happening, construction companies can ultimately suffer in terms of commissioning new several projects, planning projects in the near future and even recruiting new staff. Thus, as the result of Brexit uncertainty, this becomes all the more significant as of now.
This is about Britain’s intention to leave EU and the announcement might not severely impact last year, the effects will take place this year and are usually heavily influenced sectors in the future. The changes for Freedom of Movement taken across EU have also become one of the most major concerns now.
- A Weakening Pound
The fourth issue is about the weakening pound and this will absolutely affect most of the industries in the same impactful way. Ever since the Brexit vote, 13% has been fallen on the sterling and that directly means that importing of materials this time around is much more expensive. Apparently, it could start to produce a detrimental effect on the construction industry just when there are numerous raw materials brought directly from overseas.
5 Proposed Remedial Measures
Despite the continuous issues faced by UK construction firms, still, the majority have defined 2020 as the major turning point. Positively, there are some potential signs of many things to come. With the issues being mentioned above, below are several proposed solutions that believe to have lasting effects in the future.
- Fair distribution of work
Government is involved and as a matter of fact, for any government in power, there must be a system wherein the work they produce will be fairly distributed not only to other major companies but most importantly to both small and medium-size companies. The system must be transparent in which government officials will release funds on the exact time. All officials who have knowledge in this sector must be appointed in handling government tender boards that involved particularly in construction.
- Sub-contracting work
The majority of the bigger companies and firms these days that have been awarded with huge projects from the Government sector usually carry out the entire work all by themselves. By preferring to do all the work, they have neglected to give a subcontracting work to either small or medium construction companies. The government in the first place must implement rules for the huge firms that have been receiving big government tenders to considerately allocate at least 40% of the work intended for subcontracting. Subcontracting is a very good option for any construction projects. Contractors or projects managers, in the first place are the ones who painstakingly look for a skilled subcontractor. Working with different subcontractors is always the case. That is why, with the use of subcontractor scheduling software, the project seems to be manageable despite how complex it can be.
- Competition with foreign builders
A danger is present when big foreign construction companies have started to dominate the local construction industry. Taking over is easy since most of the operations have various incentives being offered by their respective governments. And all because of this, most of the local construction businesses particularly the medium sized attempt to compete with the foreign ones. It only results to an encounter of extreme disadvantages. Foreign companies must be joining local companies with at the very least of 40% as the minimum towards work sharing for any construction projects.
Local construction companies must have strong credibility. In order for them to stay competitive, they need to stay updated on all latest updates and construction trends. This is proven to be essential and it firmly helps them to standout. For a couple of years, construction trends have been about advanced technologies and software tools. One of which has been the best construction management software in the market like Pro Crew Schedule. This cloud-based scheduling software is proven to be very beneficial whether for project management or construction crew management.
- Green Building concept
This is one particular construction concept that is being encouraged in all projects. It is considered as another effective way of reducing the cost components as well as in terms of progressing with new and latest technology in the construction. The concept for green building construction is preferably associated with the use of advanced tools and equipment. It is also better to let the workers immersed to such advancements apart from this certain concept. For contractors, deploying a crew schedule software is an excellent option. There are several promising advantages it gives to the users. Scheduling of tasks, monitoring of all involved crew and time-tracking the labor hours is easily achievable with the application of this tool.
- Reduce Government Measures
Reducing the continuously increasing costs of a square root in constriction has been one of the goals and there have been plenty of suggestions that are proposed. One particular suggestion is to reduce the higher taxes being imposed on most of the raw materials used in the construction industry. And another suggestion is being suggested and it is for the government to begin a scheme in order to motivate and attract the youth for construction jobs in this sector.
Looking forward, this year of 2020 could definitely be a positive year particularly and especially for construction sector. Continuous growth, pledging for government investment as well as the Brexit process has able to create a solid confidence to all industry leaders. Concerns mentioned above might remain but yet there’s always something positive to look forward for particularly the proposed remedial measures.