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Campaign to kick-start construction launched
A CAMPAIGN to kick start growth in the construction industry has been launched as figures show as many as 10,000 North-East building workers could be claiming Job Seekers’ Allowance.
The Construction4Growth campaign, set up by national training organisation CITB-ConstructionSkills, is launched as the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) has called for Government-led house-building programmes, following its 2012 third quarter market survey, which it says shows the region’s construction sector has failed to show significant growth for five years.
The campaign will see six of the region’s construction firms come together to spearhead the initiative, which calls for the Government to invest in construction jobs and training as a route out of recession and back to growth.
Companies getting behind the campaign are: Wright Construction, in Stockton-on-Tees, Teesside; Reprotec UK, in Langley Moor, County Durham; Rainton Construction, in Durham; MGL Demolition, also in Durham; Halcyon Building Systems, in Trimdon Station, County Durham; and Coupe Construction, in Chester-le-Street, County Durham.
Figures from CITB show that 6,640 roles in construction in the North-East could be lost from the sector by 2017 unless action is taken to stimulate growth in the region.
The data is echoed by the latest RICS construction market survey, which shows North-East construction levels continued to fall in the three months to September.
RICS members reported both public and private house building levels in the region continued to drop during the last quarter, while overall construction workloads in the North-East dipped once again. RICS has also called for growth after it says the sector has now failed to see any tangible growth in five years. Mick Hamil, regional delivery manager for CITB-ConstructionSkills North, said: “The Construction4Growth Campaign unites every sector of our industry in a drive to kick-start activity, work our way out of recession and remind everybody that construction is a major contributor to economic growth.
“The Government’s recent infrastructure announcements have the potential to deliver a boost to the industry and create tens of thousands of jobs in the long term. But if construction and the wider economy are to reap the maximum benefit, it is essential that we secure critical investment to deliver immediate results. That’s why the Construction4Growth campaign will be supporting Government in delivering its promises and lobbying for investment in repair and maintenance now to support the economy.”
Simon Rubinsohn, RICS Chief Economist said: “Housebuilding in the North East is continuing to struggle and last quarter was predictably difficult for local construction firms. “The Government’s £50 billion stimulus package will hopefully deliver a much needed shot in the arm for the sector, but we would like to have seen a greater level of investment in housing.
“Not only would this provide relatively swift economic returns but it would also go some way to alleviating the pressure on the North East’s worryingly low supply of homes.
“However, with the raft of measures recently put in place by the Government, it appears that there is some optimism in the North-East that things could improve over the next twelve months in terms of workloads, profits and jobs. If this comes to pass, it will be an extremely welcome lift for both the construction sector and the local economy.”