Covid fallout could lead to a harsh winter for construction

Actuate UK, the alliance of leading UK building engineering services, has warned that Covid continues to cast a dark shadow on the construction industry and says the knock-on ramifications of the pandemic will still be felt long following the initial summer celebrations of the lifting of restrictions are over.

in July shows construction output remains above its February 2020 level

Data from BEIS and the ONS issued, despite a 0.8 % fall in-may 2021. However, there are lots of risks currently faced by the still, like the twin perils of a skills shortage and long Covid. They might both have a devastating effect on a volatile industry this winter.

Actuate UK is therefore warning the sector to be vigilant and follow good practice guidance, year developed during the last, to prevent resilient impacts on businesses.

The demand for construction projects shows little sign of slowing. Construction was mostly of the industries which continued operating during lockdowns, because of its importance in maintaining and building infrastructure of national importance, for instance, the Nightingale hospitals.

Actuate UK, highlights new data from the YouGov survey, which raises questions concerning the ability of the united kingdom construction sector to come back to pre-pandemic activity levels. The alliance says businesses and government should start likely to avoid winter disruption now.

Based on the poll, the year around May 2021 in, across all known members of staff, on a monthly basis from staff absent from work small to medium-sized construction firms each lost typically 29 days.

This figure excluded people on furlough – and Actuate UK says the problem will only worsen as businesses go under or are forced to operate on much-reduced capacity. Moreover, key projects may be delayed or arrived at a costly halt.

Fiona Hodgson, CEO of Actuate UK member SNIPEF, said: “Because the restrictions ease, Actuate UK urges industry to strike a balance when contemplating the fitness of its workers and the necessity to move the economy forward.

“This survey gives us grave concern concerning the long-term ramifications of Covid on our industry. Building services will be the lifeblood of most major construction projects, with heating, lighting, ventilation and digital infrastructure necessary to successful project delivery.

“Yet we continue steadily to hear from members are simply just insufficient skilled installers to meet up current demand there. With fewer apprentices being recruited through the pandemic it has exacerbated the problem and we have been deeply concerned this can effect on Government targets and future projects.”

The federal government is considering construction to lead the post-pandemic recovery currently, funding new infrastructure projects including the New Hospitals Programme in England and the electrification of the UK’s road and rail networks.

However, Actuate UK says that with a lower life expectancy workforce significantly, it won’t be possible to help keep pace with demand – and key projects could suffer because of this.

Andrew Eldred, of Actuate UK and ECA’s Director of Skills and Employment said: “We’re hearing first-hand accounts of construction firms being struggling to recruit skilled staff, despite full order books. Which is only the beginning.

“The pandemic has already established repercussions for training; the real amount of new entrants getting into the workforce has declined. The down sides of gaining working experience, alongside reduced numbers starting apprenticeships has had its toll.”

The spectre of long COVID throws another shadow coming, with recent figures from any office for National Statistics (ONS) showing that 385,per year or even more 000 people in the united kingdom have lived with symptoms for.

Although vaccination might help guard against the original impact of Covid itself, sufferers can experience brain fog and fatigue due to long COVID, preventing them from time for work.

Eldred added: “While life may go back to ‘the new normal’ for most in the coming weeks and months, for others, the long-term impact of the pandemic shall remain an extremely real barrier to work.

“The knock-on consequences of the and the abilities shortage could possibly be all too real for folks, businesses and the economic recovery itself, so it’s vital that people element in contingency plans and do something to safeguard our workforce.”

It is possible to read current guidance for Covid safe practices from members of Actuate UK on its website and the most recent Construction Leadership Council’s Site Operating Procedure Guidance can be open to view.


Grundon and fmj Waste Management have launched the 2021 waste and recycling management survey. It’s the fourth year for the annual appraisal of how FMs manage their waste and recycling activities and something which marks an unprecedented amount of disruption to services because of the pandemic.

To be able to know how FMs have navigated their way through the final year and their plans for meeting stringent waste and recycling targets we’ve posed some questions – along with the advice and connection with our editorial steering committee.

The outcomes of the 2021 survey will undoubtedly be published in FMJ magazine and form the foundation of a white paper co-written by FMJ and professionals at Grundon on how best to approach waste and recycling strategies.

To be a part of the survey click here .

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