Industry professionals call for increased investment in infrastructure from 2014 Budget

Increased investment in large-scale infrastructure topped the priorities of built environment professionals for this week’s 2014 Budget, followed by investment in regional infrastructure, and help with addressing the mounting skills gap.

The survey of over 500 industry professionals by specialist built-environment job site, CareerStructure.com, found a mismatch between what industry professionals want, and what they believe will be the reality. Investment in new homes and renewable energy was thought more likely to be prioritised after large-scale infrastructure than investment in regional infrastructure, and addressing the skills gap.

In priority order, where industry professionals want to see increased from the 2014 budget

  1. Large scale infrastructure
  2. Regional infrastructure
  3. Addressing the skills gap
  4. New homes
  5. Social infrastructure

According to 60% of industry professionals, the recent upward forecast of economic growth is being felt across the industry. Initiatives such as the Construction Industrial Strategy Advisory Council (CISAC) were found to be contributing to such positive sentiment, with nearly half (46%) believing CISAC is helping the industry to grow.

Growth is translating to jobs too, according to 42% of industry professionals, with nearly half (48%) stating that Help to Buy has positively impacted housing supply, and a further 58% believe the commitment to implement zero carbon homes from 2016 will increase demand for professionals with sustainability expertise.

Commenting on the findings, Rob Searle, Commercial Director at CareerStructure.com, said:

“After three consecutive quarters of subdued recovery, it’s fantastic to see the industry now beginning to feel the effects of a step-up in economic growth. Industry professionals are expecting to see an update to the Chancellor’s infrastructure pipeline in this week’s Budget, with large scale infrastructure ranked top priority for investment, and also thought to offer the most potential for job creation. However, we wait to see if the Government will invest in closing the looming skills gap, which if not addressed soon could hinder businesses hoping to capitalise on the upswing in activity.”