Skills Shortage Amid Increasing Optimism
The outlook for the specialist sector is increasingly positive says the latest NSCC state of trade survey, which reveals a record 60% of respondents who anticipate an increased workload this year.
Flooring and other specialist contractors are seeing ‘tangible signs of more confidence in the industry’ with 34% intending to expand their business in the next quarter and 33% expecting to take on more employees.
However, 26% of respondents are having increasing difficulty finding the right candidates for specialist work, the highest since Q2 2007, the question for many businesses is whether this growth can be sustained.
The results of the quarterly survey also reveal the extent to which the industry is still widely afflicted by late payment with 76% of respondents reporting payment between 30 and 60 days.
Specialist contractor call late payment is ‘a killer’ and despite a good workload and repeat work, late payment means ‘our cashflow is always critical’.
NSCC Fair Payment Campaign is committed to improving payment practices. NSCC issued a comprehensive response to the recent Government discussion paper, Building a Responsible Payment Culture, and is also actively involved in the development of a construction supply chain payment charter, an action within the Industrial Strategy; Construction 2025 designed to ‘create the conditions for construction supply chains to thrive’.
NSCC chief executive Suzannah Nichol MBE said: ‘Given the improved outlook for specialist contractors, it is more important than ever that we safeguard the long term growth of the industry by investing in our workforce and ensuring fair payment practices are implemented throughout the supply chain.’
This article has been reproduced from the Contract Flooring Journal website. You can find them at www.contractflooringjournal.co.uk.