Infrastructure contractors have seen a significant rise in their workloads this year, with a substantial jump in new orders helping to create more jobs and stimulate the sector.
According to the Civil Engineering Contractors Association (CECA) workload trends survey for Q3 2013, 58 per cent of firms saw more work in the last 12 months compared with a year ago, while just 14 per cent reported a falling load of construction work resulting in an overall balance of +44 per cent.
As well as being a significant rise on 12 months ago, the figures are also a major increase on Q2 of this year, when the balance stood at -2 per cent.
Workload figures are now at their highest since 2007, after being in negative figures for the majority of the economic downturn, but contractors are expecting the positive conditions to continue improving, with a balance of +40 per cent predicting that they will have more work in 12 months’ time than now.
CECA director of external affairs Alasdair Reisner welcomed the boost in activity but warned that the sector is still facing certain obstacles.
“After the challenges of recent years it is encouraging to see some real growth in workloads for the UK’s civil engineering contractors,” he explained.
“We recognise that this growth has been supported by the actions of government, which has worked with industry to unlock vital infrastructure investment projects across the country.”
He went on to say it is “essential” that the wider economy returns to growth, however, and that there is “no loss of focus” on the continuing need to invest in national transport and utility networks.
Mr Reisner concluded: “A booming economy does not remove the need to tackle congestion and energy security – in fact it makes tackling these issues even more critical.”