Workloads are up, but late pay still a problem
Specialist contractors are seeing an increase in workloads, but late payment continues to hold back the recovery.
According to a survey by the National Specialist Contractors Council (NSCC), only 3% of contractors are paid within 30 days in the private sector, but in the public sector 41% are paid on time.
The survey revealed that 44% of respondents saw an increase in enquiries in the first quarter of this year, which is up from 32% in the previous quarter, and 37% saw an increase in orders, up from 30%.
The NSCC said this was the highest rate of improvement in enquiries and orders for three years and has created some ‘cautious optimism’ with 47% of respondents anticipating an increase in workload over the next 12 months. However, most are still planning less than three months ahead.
‘To overcome the effects of the recession, the construction industry needs to work together to protect the supply chain,’ said NSCC chief executive Suzannah Nichol. ‘Without a knowledgeable, efficient and skilled workforce, employed by a multitude of specialist contractors, the industry cannot deliver the infrastructure, facilities and services necessary for our economy to function – let alone grow.
‘Unsurprisingly, this is why fair payment continues to be cited by specialist contractors as the number one measure that would provide support,’ she added.