Confidence in construction is strong, fbe survey suggests

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Confidence in the future of the construction industry as high as 80.44%, new data shows from the fbe’s State of the Construction Industry Survey. 

The data, from the UK’s longest established (1946) and largest construction sector networking and not-for-profit membership organisation, shows continued confidence in the sector.

The fbe (forum for the built environment) sent out the survey to over 10,800 construction industry professionals and of those that responded it showed a combined 80.44% had confidence of high and average in the future of the sector. 

It also showed strong support for the government’s furlough scheme with a huge 72.75% saying it was good and a further 23.16% rating it as acceptable. Additionally, the government’s financial support for the sector also scored high with 68.75% rating it good and 26.09% saying it was adequate. 

Quality of advice from both government and trade bodies combined gave encouraging responses too with 25.82% rating at good, 52.17% as adequate and the remainder as poor. 

So, whilst the government might take some comfort in those figures, others were more concerning. Certainly, a different picture emerged on current staffing and recruitment with only 7.97% saying they we are looking to recruit with a significant 68.68% saying they would maintain numbers, whilst just over 23% were sadly looking to reduce numbers. 

Not surprisingly when asked about turnover levels during the COVID-19 crisis only 5.43% had increased, 69.02% decreased, with just over 25% staying the same. 

Returning to confidence

When it came to confidence in attending industry networking events a staggering combined 80.92% said they would be confident to attend networking events if it was safe to do so, (including any social distancing requirements) in the next 0-6 months. The breakdown included 32.97% in 3 months and 35.97% in 6 months with only a minority of those responding believing it would be longer than six months.

David Jones, national chairman for the fbe
David Jones

David Jones, National Chairman of the fbe said: “After a hugely difficult and unsettling period for us all due to Coronavirus, this survey offers the first signs of a return to confidence in the wider construction sector.

“The fbe survey provides the first insight into the state of the construction sector throughout all of the UK since lockdown was eased and takes in responses from all areas of the industry. I think many aspects of the results will be encouraging and most importantly, despite many setbacks and difficulties lately, the industry’s confidence in the future of construction remains strong.” 

Finally, when asked the following question: In your opinion, what is the timescale to recover to a “back to normal” type scenario?, most believed it would be 12 months, (37.77%) or longer, (36.41%) before a return to normal would be achieved.