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Specialist contractors see rise in prospects at end of 2012

The latest State of Trade Survey, carried out by the National Specialist Contractors Council (NSCC) has indicated that specialist contractors – including plasterers, tilers and renewable systems fitters – are experiencing early signs of a significant improvement in trading conditions.

The survey found that 39 per cent of specialist contractors reported an increase in enquiries during the fourth quarter of 2012, while 36 per cent reported an increase in orders.

Trading conditions remained difficult, however, with capacity levels showing a significant decrease when compared to the third quarter of 2012. Just 61 per cent of the contractors surveyed said that they had been working at more than 75 per cent capacity, compared to 72 per cent in the third quarter, indicating the shortage of work available in the industry.

While many of the respondents said that they were looking no further ahead than three months’ time, the medium to long-term outlook for them appears to be more encouraging, with 56 per cent of the contractors predicting an increase in work over the next 12 months, and 44 per cent expecting their businesses to expand.

The NSCC brings together the common aims of specialist trade organisations within the construction industry and is recognised as the first point of contact for specialist contractors by leading organisations including ConstructionSkills, the Health and Safety Executive and the Cross-Industry Construction Apprenticeship Task Force (CCATF).