I found Building’s report from the Construction Skills Network a depressing read (“Construction will be ‘in recession till 2011,’” 27 January, building.co.uk)

Sitting back and accepting this state of affairs is not the solution. Our industry needs to sit up, and with support from the government, tackle the problem head on.  

The current economic climate has triggered a necessary streamlining, both within firms and throughout the industry’s disciplines. It is the smarter and leaner practices that will survive and be in a good position to take advantage of the upswing. Furthermore, firms that have considered alternative markets, such as international expansion, will prosper through 2010 and beyond. 

The difficulty is that while the downturn continues, some decisions will be forced on us by market conditions. It is the government’s role to assist our industry out of the recession at a faster rate. It is time that the government actually started working to support construction instead of petty electioneering against opposition parties and stalling programmes of work. 

Steven Barker, senior partner, Robinson Low Francis