Friday, July 19, 2024

Blog Post: Construction time again? asks HW Wilson

Blog Post by HW Wilson as they look to the prospects of construction in Thurrock in 2013.

“We hope that Thurrock’s construction industry isn’t going the same way as the national norm?”

PETER Hansford has been in position for a little over a month now as the Government’s chief construction advisor. I wonder how he is feeling having seen the reports coming from ‘The Streetwise subbie’ and the industry in general?

Barry Ashmore of the Streetwise subbie says “Whilst the aspirational talk of cost saving, innovation, BIM, and low carbon construction is all well and good, is it what the industry desperately needs right now?

The view from the industry’s front-line is that ideas from the centre such as BIM will not succeed without some specific changes to how the industry is currently operating.

Research has revealed how a deep rooted institutional blame culture, spurious claims, corporate greed, and endemic late or non-payment is ruining construction.

The industry has never been in a worse state, and one of the UK economy’s biggest drivers is being dismantled piece by piece as a result of appalling practices and cultural apathy.”

It seems as though large companies and contractors alike are expecting as a matter of routine to; underpay, withhold money or expect retrospective discounts when accounts become due.

Worryingly these people think this is an acceptable way to do business.

Never in the field of construction was so much owed by so few to so many.

And it’s only going to get worse as the industry is reaching breaking point, according to the bleak conclusions drawn by the two extensive surveys of the ‘Streetwise’

The surveys recognise that there are a handful of large main contractors who are good to work for, but the majority are destroying the industry infrastructure by underpaying subbies and paying them late, if at all! One of the surveys responders mirrors our own thoughts;

Construction is at its lowest ebb. There are far too many companies, sub-contrators, and main contractors alike, taking on jobs for Zero or Negative profit”

This is allowing the end users and general customers alike to assume that this is the correct value of the industry, when in truth it is a desperation call that is leading many established companies to rack and ruin.

We hope that the SMEs and specialist sub-contractors who are passionate about our industry that they have committed their working lives to, realise the power they have to drive the need for change from within. After all it is us and those alike who actually deliver the work on site!


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