A Recovering Industry?
The building trade is a dynamic and ever-changing industry. Recent years have been challenging for many construction firms, with the recession having a big impact on both large and small scale developments in the UK. The construction industry constitutes between 6 – 7% of the UK economy, so is one of the driving forces behind its success or failure.
However, with the economic recovery apparently underway, we are beginning to see a welcome improvement in the fortunes of this sector in particular. The Financial Times has recently discovered that activity in the construction sector “rose at its fastest pace in six years” by August 2013, with 46% of Markit’s industry report respondents expecting a rise in business over the coming year. Initiatives such as the Help to Buy scheme have boosted the trade and sped up recovery.
Moving forward, the government have introduced the Construction 2025 strategy, which sets out a vision for improving smart technologies and green construction within the sector, as well as more ethical and healthy supply chains. This is something that we are extremely interested in, considering our own accreditations and commitment to using ethically sourced products.
Due to a long-standing relationship with many companies in the construction industry, Shirtworks maintains a keen interest in the performance of this sector. The recovery of the industry has seen us receive an increasing amount of enquiries about our customised workwear, and this is a good signal that things are indeed improving.
This has come alongside a number of changes to building regulations, with stricter rules about what is acceptable clothing to wear on a building site, which has resulted in more high quality brands supplying the UK, including popular Danish workwear design & manufacturer Mascot Workwear. High visibility workwear is also an essential on modern construction sites, and is mandatory for sites that operate heavy machinery and plant vehicles. Indeed, these regulations have undoubtedly had an effect on safety, with HSE reporting the number of workplace injuries falling in 9 of the last 10 years, with average annual falls of 4% over the last decade.
Along with the important safety considerations and EU regulations, there is a strong emphasis from the UK government and from within the industry on improving the image of the building trade. This has resulted in the market shifting from the traditional ‘builder in jeans and sweatshirt’ to a more professional and uniformed approach to workwear.
The trade employs 10% of Britain’s workforce and brings an estimated £90 billion into the economy every year, so the performance of the construction industry is essential to the success of the UK economy and acts as a key indicator of growth. The latest figures are encouraging for everybody, and at Shirtworks we’re pleased to see that building and engineering firms are continuing to enquire about our workwear products.
If you’d like more information about the customised regulation-standard workwear that we provide, browse our collection or give us a call on 0800 072 5334.
Sources for statistics: