Construction News From Across the Water: UK Construction Industry Update

PJ Brown ConstructionDespite the economic downturn and the problems that many countries in Europe are experiencing with economic growth – the UK’s construction industry is one that seems to be surviving the slump.

Industry figures from October 2013 show that the UK Construction industry has continued to grow for the 5th Consecutive month.

The biggest boost this past year has come from domestic clients and private house building. Much of this investment has come from a new UK Governments initiative called “Help to buy”. This UK Government scheme allows some potential homeowners who wish to build or buy new homes to borrow up to 95% of the total cost of the house or the build. As those wishing to build a new home only need a very small deposit to begin with – UK Construction companies – particularly those servicing smaller domestic clients has reaped the rewards of this  new incentive scheme.

Recent Developments in Construction methods in the UK

The UK has been adopting and learning from construction methods used in Europe and further afield and introducing these into our own construction practices.

Developments in the UK Construction Industry have recently accelerated alongside pressure on construction companies from the UK Government to deliver cheap, good quality developments – as well as keeping with all of the new environment and green policies that are being introduced year on year.

PJ Brown ConstructionMany of the new houses built by the UK’s local councils now involve constructing much of the parts of the development offsite, and “piecing” the final house or building together onsite.

The idea of pre-fabricated homes started in the US, where companies, including Sears Catalog Homes have been offering prefabricated whole home kits as early as 1902.

Although prefab homes have been in existence for over a century, the UK has recently used the method as “the norm” with the aim of creating better quality, more affordable housing and building in less time.

Developments in Construction Training

It’s a given that good training for young people in any professional results in better more competent workers.

Historically in the UK, academic learning was, (and still is) encouraged in school children over and above any practical skills. It’s also been the case that these “traditional” subjects often have more financial backing and investment from local Councils & the Government.

More recently, the government has identified the need to develop the populations practical skill set, and is beginning to invest more funding and balance the value of “vocational courses”.

PJ Brown ConstructionVocational courses are any further educations courses where a practical industry skill is studied. This includes a whole range of subjects including manufacturing, engineering, construction & leisure.

The UK Government has promised to invest into vocational courses to achieve a better quality of training in this sector. Recent updates this summer include providing traineeships in construction and other practical courses, meaning those who have decide to get into the construction industry a bit later in life still have access to the right training to help them land a job.

This is all good news for construction companies in the UK, as it means they are being provided with a wider selection of better trained, more skilled workforce who are going to be able to take their companies forward in the future.

Submitted by Claire McEvoy. Claire works for UK Construction Company PJ Brown

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