Pessimistic view of prospects across the Welsh civils sector

Civil engineering workload decreasing, future orders decreasing, employment decreasing! But costs are increasing!

Press Release 4th November 2019

A report from the Civil Engineering Contractors Association (CECA) shows that, for a 3rd consecutive quarter, workload is decreasing for 44% of civil engineering contractors in Wales. This is the lowest balance since the start of 2013 and is most acute in the roads sector with local roads, in particular, suffering reduced investment for the 17th consecutive quarter. And the future is looking bleak with 64% of Welsh businesses reporting reductions in future orders for the 4th consecutive quarter and the worst prospects since 2016. This is resulting in reduced employment with decreases of 20% for skilled operatives and 45% for others. With 15% of Welsh companies expecting further reductions in employment over the next 12 months this does not bode well for the Welsh economy. To add to this dismal picture 90% of civil engineering contractors are reporting a rise of at least 5% in costs.

Ed Evans, Director of CECA Wales, said :

“The infrastructure sector depends so much on public sector investment but continuing austerity, Brexit uncertainties and a lack of any vision for the future of infrastructure in Wales means that the sector is facing its bleakest period for many years. We’ve been warning the UK and Welsh governments of this situation for the last 2 years but it’s fallen on deaf years. We’ve had major projects such as Wylfa Newydd, the Swansea Bay Tidal Lagoon and the M4 Relief Road cancelled at the 11th hour and this has exacerbated an already fragile situation as local authorities have struggled with diminishing budgets.”

“With civil engineering workloads decreasing, future orders decreasing, employment decreasing but costs increasing it’s a really difficult time for businesses.”

“It’s time that we saw some action from governments at both ends of the M4 to instill some much needed confidence in a sector that provides so many high quality jobs, underpins the foundation economy in Wales and builds the infrastructure we need to develop as a nation.”