Published on 4 - May - 2012
Specialist contractors are experiencing improvements in trade according to the latest National Specialist Contractors Council (NSCC) State of Trade Survey. Forty four per cent of respondents reported an increase in enquiries in the first quarter of 2012, up from 32 per cent last quarter, and 37 per cent an increase in orders, up from 30 per cent.
More optimistic outlook for specialist contractors, says NSCC
While a post-winter recovery is to be expected around this time, this is the highest rate of improvement in enquiries and orders that has been seen for three years.
Asccording to the NSCC, This has sparked cautious optimism within the specialist sector and 47 per cent of respondents are anticipating an increase in workload over the next 12 months. However, most are still planning less than three months ahead.
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.
This is supported by the recent Specialists White Paper published by Building Magazine, in partnership with NSCC and CITB-ConstructionSkills, which revealed that almost 60 per cent of payments to specialist contractors are made in less than 44 days in the public sector compared to just 46 per cent of payments in the private sector.
NSCC chief executive Suzannah Nichol MBE 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 brings together the common aims of 32 specialist trade organisations within the construction industry and is the authoritative voice of 7,000 Specialist Contractors in the UK - www.nscc.org.uk
A full copy of the latest NSCC State of Trade report is available at www.nscc.org.uk/news
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