Data outlines sector-wide challenges

ONS data has revealed the full extent of the pandemic’s impact on construction output, highlighting the challenges faced by industries including glazing. “Disruption to international supply chains will be a challenge moving forward,” said Fraser Johns, Beard Construction’s finance director. He added: “The road to recovery will certainly not be simple.”

Reacting to ONS data published on 12 February, Mr Johns said: “After a seven month period of growth, there are still challenges within the construction sector, as demonstrated by the 2.9% dip in December. Now we have a full picture of 2020, we are reminded of the large impact the pandemic has had on the sector, with the 12.5% drop being the largest year-on-year decrease since 2009. We remain positive of a rebound but must remain attentive to further implications of Brexit and new strains of the virus.

“The government’s recently released ‘construction playbook’ will play an important role in pushing the industry forward and the commitments to long-term projects will be crucial. The government has set ambitious targets for housebuilding and infrastructure construction, and the sector will need to ensure we have enough people with the right skills to fulfil these projects. Training and investment in people continues to be of high priority.”