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I have been asked several times what I think the impact of Brexit will have on the construction industry.The short answer is nobody really knows for sure.

Now that some of the dust has settled however there are some signs as to what the fall-out from Brexit might be. The initial knee jerk reactions were inevitable as the doom mongers have their moment.

Undoubtedly some businesses will suspend their plans as they wait to assess the longer term consequences and you do wonder how often Brexit is being used as a scape-goat for ill-conceived and marginal schemes. But things have moved on apace and within weeks we have a new Prime Minister and essentially a new Government.

Our newly installed political leaders have wasted no time in reassuring the Construction Industry of the Government’s long term commitment to boost infrastructure spending. One supposes that with so much more of our taxes not having to go via Europe before they get re-shored and re-badged in the UK as “European Funding”, there is a greater prospect of this pledge being fulfilled. Theresa May PM has also pledged Treasury-backed bonds to fund infrastructure projects all as part of her plan to build a UK economy. I know we’ve heard it all before but we really do need to build our way into the future. To fail to recognise this and continue to rely on what is essentially a 19th century Victorian infrastructure for a 21st century economy, will quite simply lead to a failure of as yet unseen proportions. It therefore has to happen and designers, engineers, surveyors, project managers and a highly skilled workforce will be required to see it through.

What the construction industry needs right now is a long term sustained level of stability. We’re in an industry that all too frequently pitches from boom to bust. Finance house Experian have downgraded their growth forecasts from October 2015 of 4.3% to just 0.3% for 2016 following Brexit. How can an industry be expected to prepare and plan for an economy that has more ups and downs than a rollercoaster?

In some respects the downgrading of growth could well be a potential blessing in an industry that is already overstretched and under-resourced. I had real concern where the additional resources and skilled manpower were going to be conjured from to meet such a high increase in forecasted demand.

Our industry requires the government to deliver on commitment and policy to provide a period of tangible stability, so that we can offer the construction managers and tradesmen of tomorrow a career with real prospects and security.

Irrespective of the Brexit position there is a real opportunity for the government to quite literally put their money where their mouth is and build on the future of the UK and ensure that construction is fully supported in a sustainable and controlled way so as to represent an exciting, diverse and fully inclusive career opportunity for young people. It will be for all of us working in construction to positively promote and sell our industry as a fantastic and well rewarded career choice. The CITB (Go Construct) has released a great promotional video to capture the imagination and represent the myriad of career options available. To help promote this video and raise the awareness of construction please re tweet.

Watch the video here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Eiwr2H1yBmU

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