Let construction be the victor, not the victim

Ann Bentley DEC 2018 BW CUTOUT

Our sector has the power to lead the economic recovery – but we must work together, and in new ways, in order to seize that chance

In the last few weeks alone, the WHO has confirmed over 400,000 deaths worldwide from covid-19 and the OECD has reported that the global economy is experiencing the deepest recession since the Great Depression of the 1930s, with GDP declines of more than 20% in many countries during shutdowns. In the four decades I have worked in the construction industry, I don’t think we have ever faced a bigger challenge than today: a world health crisis with deep financial consequences and much uncertainty about the future of our industry and the global economy.

Although many UK construction sites have now reopened and the wheels are beginning to turn again, we all know the industry has been dented dramatically. After at least a month of standstill many projects are behind, and although contractors are reporting productivity is back to around 60% of pre-pandemic levels there will undoubtedly be economic fatalities in our sector. We need to ensure construction becomes one of the levers to stimulate growth and help us regain our foothold, rather than an economic victim …

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