The double-dip was inevitable and as a construction professional, I accept that it remains ‘an easy option’ to support my own industry. However, as a member of the micro-business community, there is no guarantee that my particular subset of the economy will benefit anymore than we have done already, which remains very little over the last decade. The advent of the ‘public sector’ framework has yielded results, predominantly, for the few contractors [and consultants] that are capable of being appointed to these gargantuan, multi-year, commercial opportunities.
The emerging trend of subdued / negative growth [in construction] is, in part, a reflection of the ‘frameworks’ that seek to serve only a few large firms rather than a multitude of smaller players [often referred to as SME’s]. The procurement of frameworks to date, has been a missed opportunity for both micro-businesses and SME’s to openly participate in the delivery of public sector construction projects with the intention of only seeking to employ the ‘Tier 1’ involvement of the major firms. In terms of seeking ‘added-value’, a firm commitment [by public sector procuring bodies] to greater transparency and diversity of the ‘entire’ public sector supply chain would go some way towards reducing the continued and ever increasing burden of unemployment generally and youth in particular [the latter by way of apprenticeships]; not to mention the potential to increase much needed tax receipts within government coffers.
According to BIS [Department for Business, Innovation & Skills];
“……The UK construction industry consists of over 300 000 firms employing over 2 million people in a multitude of roles. The UK construction sector contributed 8.3% of the nations GVA (Gross Value Added) in 2008……….”
I believe there is a way out of this mess [in construction], all we need is the will and ‘top-down’ commitment to deliver it.