Specialists survey shows good news for 2012 workloads
23rd May 2012
Almost half of respondents to a National Specialist Contractors Council survey have reported an increase in enquiries in the first quarter of 2012.
The latest NSCC state of trade survey showed 44 per cent of respondents reported an increase in enquiries in 2012 Q1, up 12 per cent on 2011 Q4.
A total of 37 per cent reported an increase in orders, compared to 30 per cent in the previous quarter.
Late payment continues to be the biggest issue affecting specialist contractors with only 3 per cent being paid within 30 days. The situation is significantly better in the public sector where payment periods have improved for the fifth quarter in a row and 41 per cent of specialist contractors are now receiving payment within 30 days.
NSCC chief executive Suzannah Nichol told CN last month she had raised the issue of fair payment with chief secretary to the Treasury Danny Alexander and hailed the public sector as leading the way on fair payment.
Suzannah Nichol said: “To overcome the effects of the recession, the construction industry needs to work together to protect the supply chain.
“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.”
The NSCC reported that despite positive results expected post-winter, this is the highest rate of improvement in enquiries and orders that has been seen for three years.
Almost half of respondents are anticipating an increase in workload over the next year, however, the majority are still planning less than three months ahead.