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Budget 2014: Industry professionals call for greater investment in infrastructure

According to a survey by specialist built-environment job site CareerStructure.com, increased investment in large-scale infrastructure is top of the list of priorities of built environment professionals, ahead of this week's Budget announcement.
This was followed by investment in regional infrastructure and help with addressing the mounting skills gap. The survey of more than 500 industry professionals found a mismatch between what they want and what they believe will happen. Investment in new homes and renewable energy was considered more likely to be prioritised after large-scale infrastructure than investment in regional infrastructure and addressing the skills gap.

According to 60% of industry professionals, the recent upward forecast of economic growth is being felt across the industry. Initiatives such as the Construction Industrial Strategy Advisory Council (CISAC) were found to be contributing to such positive sentiment, with 46% believing that CISAC is helping the industry to grow.

Furthermore, growth is translating to jobs, according to 42% of industry professionals, with nearly half (48%) stating that Help to Buy has positively impacted housing supply, and a further 58% believe that the commitment to implement zero carbon homes from 2016 will increase demand for professionals with sustainability expertise.

Rob Searle, commercial director at CareerStructure.com, said: 'After three consecutive quarters of subdued recovery, it's fantastic to see the industry now beginning to feel the effects of a step-up in economic growth. Industry professionals are expecting to see an update to the Chancellor's infrastructure pipeline in this week's Budget, with large scale infrastructure ranked top priority for investment, and also thought to offer the most potential for job creation.

'However, we wait to see if the Government will invest in closing the looming skills gap, which if not addressed soon could hinder businesses hoping to capitalise on the upswing in activity,' he concluded.

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