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Over a third of building business cutting jobs

Around 37% of construction SMEs are cutting jobs, says builders organisation the Federation of Master Builders.

The latest FMB reveals that in the second quarter of 2012, lower employment levels were reported by more than a third of builders (37%) and the outlook is little better with 30% of construction SMEs expecting to reduce employment levels over the next six months.

Brian Berry, FMB chief executive said: “The results from the latest FMB survey are particularly depressing. After four years of continuous recession in the SME construction sector we would hope to be seeing signs of a return to growth and new job creation, not on-going heavy job losses.

“The problems affecting the construction sector pose real problems for the wider economy, not just because of the direct cost of unemployment but because of the impact on the industry’s skills base. Evidence from past recessions shows that when people leave the construction industry they tend not to return when the economy recovers. This leaves the construction industry short of skills which in turn delays projects and forces up prices when demand returns to the market.

“To help construction SMEs create jobs and promote growth in the construction sector, the Government needs to be making bolder policy decisions on a range of policy issues such as reform of the current procurement rules, incentives to promote the forthcoming Green Deal retrofit initiative and a targeted drive to increase house building.

“Construction industry procurement is a particularly onerous and costly process for small building companies and more must be done to prevent the exclusion of the small businesses that typically use local materials, local labour and promote the development of local skills. Both central and local government need to recognise that value for money is not just about the lowest cost.”

About Fiona Russell-Horne

Group Managing Editor across the BMJ portfolio.

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