SummitSkills is forecasting plummeting workloads in the building services engineering sector and redundancies of between 67 000 and 154 000 in 2009 among m&e contractors

The figures are based on a survey among consultants and focused on the likely effects of the recession in five key work areas: private commercial, private industrial, private housing, social housing and major public works.

In Potential impact of the recession on the building services engineering sector in 2009, key issues arising from the research include:

  • The majority of consultants expect the recession to last two years until the end of 2010.
  • There are estimates that between 10.4% (in the social housing sector) and 55.75% (private housing) of work may be postponed or cancelled as a result of the recession.
  • This may lead to 67 000-154 000 jobs being at risk in the contracting industry.Keith Marshall, chief executive of SummitSkills, said: “Our estimates are based on assumptions that can be influenced by variables, but it’s inevitable that businesses will be affected by the recession.

“Rather than doom-mongering, our emphasis is on being realistic and providing the sector with an appreciation of where consultants feel that work may be cut back.

“By being aware of the potential consequences, we can start to prepare contingency measures to assist building service engineering firms.”

SummitSkills is working on a number of initiatives, including redeployment of redundant apprentices, skills training in new market areas and maintaining the stream of new entrants as the sector comes out of recession.