Contractors World

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Contractors World 2011 Volume 2 Issue 5
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Roger Lindley - Contractros World Publisher-EditorEditorial Comment

What is the true state of the construction industry worldwide? Over the past thirty years I have visited Las Vegas on many occasions to attend trade shows but also to get site reports. The recent visit showed a construction industry in serious trouble with many partially completed structures mothballed. And this is the picture across most of North America and Europe is not doing any better.

Greece, Portugal, Spain and Ireland are struggling to manage the general economic situation and the industry to suffer the most is construction. There is virtually no activity in these countries and other European countries are also struggling.

At a conference organized by the Construction Equipment Association in London this month the state of the industry was brought up in several discussions. Not so much the lack of contracts but the lack of initiatives by the Government to protect a vital resource - skilled labour.

With tens of thousands highly skilled people leaving the industry, the dilemma for the contractors is where are the skills going to come from when the industry picks up - and pick up it will. Anyone who has been in the industry long enough knows that it is very cyclical. But when the pick-up occurs will these people still be around?

Manufacturers share concern

Sir Anthony Bamford, Chairman of JCB, speaking at the CEA ‘Bright Horizons’ conference said that manufacturers were also facing a skill shortage - not brought about so much by people leaving the industry but more by young people beginning a career not seeing engineering as exciting as technology. Little do they realize the major part technology plays in engineering today.

The solution for JCB was to invest, along with other major engineering manufacturers in establishing their own academy which, to everyone’s surprise was very quickly over subscribed.

Ceasing the initiative

If manufacturers can take innovative approaches, then so can Governments who have procrastinated for too long over packages to stimulate the construction industry. Unfortunately, as Sir Anthony Bamford said “Politicians tend to plan for the short term whereas manufacturers have to plan for the long term.”

Roger Lindley - Contractros World Publisher-Editor

Roger Lindley
Publisher/Editor

 

 

 

 

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