Currently, this industry is faced with a shortage of skills as well as safety and health issues.
The relationship between contractors and clients, together with the supply chains are very complex. Additionally, a number of firms are moving towards a modern manufacturing approach but others are still traditional.
Among the main factors driving the construction sector is the government's Public Private Partnership (PPP) for main infrastructure projects. Private Finance Initiatives (PFI) have also been widely adopted. These projects include prisons, schools, and hospitals. The private sector then takes responsibility in running these projects. PPP and PFI have brought in the discipline of private sector management, ownership and financing. This has greatly improved efficiency and value in the public sector.
There is an acute shortage of houses particularly in South East of England. It requires a big infrastructure and housing projects emphasising on brown field sites and high density houses. The UK construction industry will continue to grow. Its output is expected to rise to about 12.7 per cent by 2010.
The construction industry in the UK is growing very fast. Experts expect construction to shift from the North to the South and East. This is driven by the strong growth in the housing sector including 36 billion pounds of big projects. East London is expected to undergo a high employment rate at about 18.6 per cent by 2010. London's will be 11 per cent while the South East will be at 14 per cent (Weaver, 2002).
Growth in the North is expected to be slower. Construction employment in the North West is estimated to grow by 5 per cent from 2006 to 2010, Scotland by eight per cent, Humberside by six per cent, Yorkshire and Humberside by six per cent and the North East by 6 per cent. Northern Ireland and Wales will also experience strong growth.
The construction sector employment in Wales is expected to increase by 12 per cent. This is attributed to the 3.2 billion pound Welsh Quality Standards Scheme. Northern Ireland's 13 per cent growth is associated mainly with the public investment programme planned for the next ten years.
Generally, the future of the construction industry in the UK is expected to show the following characteristics:
Private output growth will exceed publicly funded construction programmes
Public housing is expected to experience the biggest growth since private and government housing developers will seek deliverance of affordable and key worker housing, specifically in the South East and London.
The commercial sector is also expected to grow due to the continued recovery for offices market and also further increases in PPP/PFI education and health projects.
Infrastructure output is expected surpass the industry average. This will be due to projects like widening of M1 and M25 among other projects.
The construction industry in the UK is currently faced with many problems. These problems are threatening to lead this industry into a crisis.
Meeting the industry Challenges
In spite of its drawbacks, the UK construction sector experiencing increased demand and growth. This offers good employment opportunities. However, the rapidly changing environment has placed a lot of challenges in its bid to deliver new developments.
The construction industry has forecasted that 348,000 more workers will be required by 2010 to