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UK Construction 2019 – What next?

18 January 2019

UK Construction 2019 – What next? is the latest report from CMS and gauges views from 150 senior management representatives operating across the UK construction sector.

We wanted to explore with those at the sharp end in the main contractor market what challenges they face. However, recognising that construction is a sector which remains resilient and rises to the challenges when presented to it, we also wanted to understand what technological, commercial and contractual solutions are being developed.

Some common challenges that the contractor market faces are discussed in the report and includes:

  • Urgency for the need of payment security
  • The ability to deal and embrace with technological change
  • The need to address how construction works are procured
  • The need for an industry-wide approach.

Views from the market

“There has been so much noise since Carillion about ‘improving’ but absolutely no change in the way the public sector procures construction services. Best value still means lowest cost which keeps us stuck and holds the sector back.”(Bruce Dickson, Regional Director - BAM Construct UK)

"As an industry we rightly value education targeted at technical skills but we have perhaps not recognised that it is equally important to provide training that prepared individuals for leadership, team-working and innovation." (Martin Pitt, Commercial Director – Sir Robert McAlpine)

“The rate of change in technology is so huge. The next 20 years will see 20 more technology changes all happening simultaneously.”(Client interview)

This work is part of a long term initiative by CMS to understand the realities faced by the contractor market. The objective is to help us develop the conversation on these issues and to allow us to better support our clients in the sector.

CMS and Glasgow Airport also hosted a round table discussion with 15 senior representatives from the construction industry in Scotland. You can read a summary of what was discussed at this roundtable about the ‘The Future of UK Construction’.

CMS has also created a series of short and informative videos about a number of related topics. You can view these videos in our Perspectives on Construction video library page.

If you would like to discuss any aspects of this report or would like further support please contact a member of our construction team by visiting our construction and engineering page.


UK Construction Report 2019 - What Next?
PDF 1.6 MB


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