It’s not the end of the world, says Steve Rogan
Brexit is being blamed for anything and everything at the moment, and whilst there is no doubt that the decision made in the recent referendum will change things, if you listened to, and believed all the talk of doom and gloom, you’d think the world was about to end.
It is important to remember that Britain is still building, we still have a strong economy, and the world is still spinning. When it stops, that’ll be the time to worry, not now.
In fact, some of the major institutions are already changing their tune with regards to the economic outlook, including the International Monetary Fund (IMF), who are now predicting that the British economy will grow at a faster rate than both Germany and France in the next two years – 1.7 % this year and 1.3 % next year. This is a little different than their predictions of just a few weeks ago that a recession would be the cause of Brexit.
This means that far from being a declining country, struggling to keep up with some of the major worldwide economies, the UK is still set to be the second-fastest growing economy in the G7 group of industrialised nations during 2016 (behind the USA) and third-fastest next year, behind the USA and Canada.
The message from the Treasury is also clear, as shown in their recent statement: “Our country remains open for business. We are the same outward-looking, globally-minded, big-thinking country we have always been.”
At Pinnacle Consulting, when we look at the number of new positions on our books and compare them with the same period during the last couple of years, it is just as strong and confirms that the confidence of many of the companies in the industry is still positive and looking towards growth.
As an overall industry, building and construction has always been forward thinking, adopting new technologies, manufacturing methods and materials, and leading the way with implementing legislation for both safety and sustainability with the product solutions to meet them.
The demand for our countries’ products and people will remain high and there is a real possibility of the potential opportunities available being even greater, as although some doors will close, more will open. However, our industry has always thrived on the skills and ideas of those who decide to come and work here too, and we must ensure that we find a way to embrace the innovation and knowledge they bring us.
The UK has many building and construction targets to reach and the demand for housing stock is still there.
Inland Homes (the housebuilder and brownfield regeneration specialist) said recently, that the location of its operations – in Amersham, Buckinghamshire – and the pricing of its homes (£339,000 on average) meant that the business had continued to experience a solid level of enquiries from potential buyers during the 12 months ending June 30 2016. These fundamentals were not affected by the uncertainty preceding the EU referendum with buyer appetite since the result remaining “stable,” Inland’s statement read.
Stephen Wicks, Inland’s CEO, commented: “We are confident that our underlying business is extremely robust and the demand for our high quality, lower cost homes remains strong.”
Some very encouraging news from the house-building sector was also published by the NHBC last week as they revealed that new home registrations in Q2 2016 totalled 41,222, marking the strongest quarter since 2007.
And if you add to this that Taylor Wimpey has seen “no meaningful change to date” in trading since the result of the EU referendum, it said in its recent half-year results performance summary.
Even Saint Gobain has reported that although Britain’s decision to quit the European Union has caused uncertainty but is unlikely to have a significant impact on business and may be a boost for the construction industry.
Despite the uncertainty causing some major construction or infrastructure projects to be put on hold or delayed, we need to have confidence in both our industry and our country to make us even stronger, despite our exit from the EU.
The industry is faced with big opportunities and so it must move forward with confidence. It is vitally important that the uncertainty does not lead to panic buying at low prices, so manufacturers and buyers must look at quality and innovation as being paramount in their strategic outlook. The companies that continue to offer differentiation will be the ones that grow both domestically and globally, and help the industry to remain a vibrant and developing one.
However, key to this is a real need for us to be seen as a global partner, looking to expand our reach, our expertise, our guidance, as well as having a willingness to welcome, learn from, and work with, other economies and specialists from all over the world.
There is a maxim called ‘The Law of Attraction’ which states that “like attracts like” i.e. – by focusing on positive or negative thoughts a person brings positive or negative experiences into their life. This belief is based on the idea that people and their thoughts are both made from “pure energy”, and the belief that like energy attracts like energy.
We want to encourage everyone to spread a positive message and start to remove the toxic negative energy trying to destroy the economy and our industry.
So our message is clear: the foundations of our industry are still in place, and we should continue to build on it in order to thrive and prosper. We must not let Brexit deconstruct all the hard work and progress the industry has made over the last few years. So join us and get into a positive mind-set and spread it everywhere you go.
The world is still spinning and Britain in still aiming to build higher than ever. So spread a little happiness as you go by…
Steve Rogan is managing director of construction recruitment specialists Pinnacle Consulting