2020 was a tough for everyone. The construction sector is no exception having experienced a fall in output of c. 36% in Q2 when Covid hit and the UK was ‘locked down’ for the first time. However, the sector is made of tough stuff and, having experienced previous downturns, was able to adapt quickly and reopen sites faster than might have been anticipated, resulting in output growing by a record-beating 41% in Q3. This increase was driven by growth across all construction sectors, except for new public housing and work. Interestingly work in infrastructure recovered rapidly (surpassing pre-Covid levels) which, our clients tell us, was due to larger civil engineering sites being more easily adapted to social distancing measures than smaller sites.
Despite the positive news of increased output in the second half of 2020, with the implementation of another lockdown in early 2021, Covid will present significant challenges in the year ahead. Client insight suggests the construction sector will eventually see a slow and steady recovery over the next two years, returning to pre-Covid activity levels in 2022.
With the rollout of the vaccine alongside the Government’s commitment to ‘Building Back Better’ through further investment in infrastructure, we expect civil engineering projects disrupted by lockdown to recover in 2021. In addition, major projects like the Thames Tideway Tunnel and HS2 are expected to boost Great Britain’s civil engineering output over the coming years.
However, whilst things are looking brighter for the industry, there are still some challenges to overcome particularly around post-Brexit supply chains. If we do experience material shortages this may lead to an increase in costs resulting in a slow-down in future projects.
To protect themselves against these and any future challenges, we are starting to see a trend towards increased investment in improving the resilience of supply chains and digital & design solutions to help reduce time spent on site at both the pre-construction and construction stage of projects. This will help reduce the reliance of on-site labour, address the impact of any ongoing Covid restrictions, and tackle the challenges of hiring skilled workers.
At Norman Broadbent, we are currently helping our clients across the sector find solutions to these challenges in the following ways:
- Future proof the business: we achieve this by deploying our Leadership Consulting Practice. They help clients understand the capability of their teams through the creation of success profiles (what good looks like), the assessment of individuals against these, and the creation of individual development plans to help raise the calibre of individuals, teams and the business as a whole.
- Gaps in capability: we achieve this by deploying our Research & Insight Practice. They help clients understand the talent landscape giving them the evidence they need to make informed people decisions as well as to build evidence-based business cases to win budget allocation for growth.
- Change and transformation: Our Interim Management Practice provides clients with experienced high-impact Interims and Independent Consultants to help build and deliver change strategies.
- Strategy development: we achieve this by deploying our Research & Insight Practice. They help clients understand how other companies are structured and how they have achieved success. This Busines Intelligence is then used to support and evidence the creation of business strategies to tackle the challenges ahead.
If you would like to confidentially discuss how Norman Broadbent Group could help you overcome your business or people challenges, please contact Nick Behan on +44 (0) 0207 484 0106 or via email@example.comContinue Reading