Struggling to find work in the construction sector?
New research conducted by a leading business insurance website has revealed the areas within the UK where particular construction workers are struggling the most to find regular work. The study found that 15% of construction workers in the North East and 13% in Wales are currently struggling to find regular and reliable work, with electricians and bricklayers struggling the most across the UK.
After it was recently revealed that the UK construction sector rebounded in May from a near two-year low in April, researchers at a leading business insurance website decided to look into how construction workers around different regions of the UK are finding the search for work.
The team at www.constructaquote.com polled a total of 3,948 UK based construction workers across a range of industry sectors for the purposes of the study. Each participant was aged 18 and over and described themselves as a primarily freelance worker. There was an equal split of participants across the regions of the UK.
When initially asked if they had noticed a difference in the amount of work they were securing over the past twelve months, the majority (59%) admitted it had been roughly the same, with 22% claiming they had more work and 19% noticing they’d had less work.
All participants were then asked if they were ‘struggling to find reliable and regular work’, to which a quarter (26%) said they were. When divided according to the regions, in order to establish the hardest areas of the UK to work it, the following split was revealed:
1. North-East - (15%)
2. Wales - (13%)
3. North-West- (12%)
4. Yorkshire and Humberside – (12%)
5. London- (10%)
6. West Midlands- (9%)
7. East of England- (7%)
8. Northern Ireland- (6%)
9. Scotland- (6%)
10. South-East- (4%)
11. East Midlands- (3%)
12. South-West- (3%)
Of those who said they were struggling to find work, the most commonly affected trades emerged as electricians (16%), bricklayers (11%) and builders (8%).
When relevant participants were asked to reveal the main reasons behind it being so difficult, the most commonly given responses were:
1. People don’t have the disposable income to afford my services- (39%)
2. There is too much competition for my services in my local area- (32%)
3. I’m not doing enough to promote myself within the local area - (23%)
4. Damaged reputation from previous work carried out- (16%)
5. I’m not willing to cut my costs like others might do- (11%)
Lyndon Wood, CEO and creator of constructaquote.com, made the following comments regarding the findings of the study:“Sometimes it is all too easy to describe one industry using the umbrella term of the UK. The truth is, whilst construction might be booming in one region of the country, it could be struggling in another part. This is evident from our findings when comparing the regional results in the North-East to the South-West.”
He continued: “In terms of the reasons behind why construction workers think they are struggling to find work in their local areas, I would suggest this could be a lack of self-promotion and ‘selling your service’ is partly to blame. It’s 2015 and you cannot expect customers to come to you; you need to actively advertise your services on the likes of social media and through a well-designed and efficient website.”
Webuild and Lane to build railway in Texas
Webuild, formerly known as Salini Impregilo, has announced a US$16bn agreement to build a high-speed railway between Dallas and Houston in Texas. The project has been described as the “final step” before financial closure for the company, which Webuild said was“foreseen in the coming months”.
Passengers using the 236-mile long railway, which was developed by Texas LLC, will travel in Japanese Tokaido Shinkansen bullet trains at 200mph, making one scheduled stop at Brazos Valley near Texas A&M University. This aims to shorten the total journey time between the two terminals from almost four hours to around 90 minutes, Texas LLC claims. The company hopes commercial operations will begin in 2026.
According to Webuild, the new line will aim to target an estimated 100,000 “super commuters” who travel between the two cities by car and plane every week. Webuild said it would cut greenhouse gas emissions by up to 101,000 tonnes per year.
This contract is an update on a preliminary design-build agreement signed with Texas Central LLC in 2019, valued at $14bn. The deal confirms the US as Webuild's single biggest market, comprising some 35% of the group’s total order backlog.
Around 17,000 new direct jobs will be created as a result of the project, as well as 20,000 indirect ones. U.S. suppliers from states aim to provide an estimated US$7.3bn of materials to construct the railway in conjunction with services provided by Italian suppliers.
Webuild and Lane will oversee the civil engineering works of the project. This includes the tracks themselves, the viaducts, and depot buildings.
Three facts about bullet trains
- The fastest commercially operated bullet train is not in Japan, but China. It is capable of reaching speeds of up to 268mph… with passengers onboard.
- Bullet trains are one of the safest ways to travel. Over 10bn passengers have been on board a bullet train and no-one has ever been killed on one.
- The “tunnel boom effect” is powerful enough to blow a freight train over. When a bullet train exits a tunnel at over 200mph, the resulting sonic boom effect is so strong, it could blow a normal freight train off its tracks.
Image: Texas Central LLC.