With time running out what can we expect the impacts of Brexit to be on the construction industry?

What do we know?

Whilst we don’t know the nature of the exit i.e. hard Brexit with no deal or managed exit with an agreement, we do no the effects will be significant.  Unfortunately, changes to tariffs, immigration rules and logistical issues will all have an impact.

What analysis has been undertaken?

Various analyses have been undertaken however this excellent article by Katrina McWhinnie is a very good succint summary.

 

https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/brexit-what-does-mean-construction-industry-katrina-mcwhinnie/

 

What can you do about Brexit if you are in the construction industry?

Unfortunately, as indicated in Katrina’s article, the only reaistic options are to develop contingency plans for Brexit.  

Consequently, where there is a dependency on EU labour then contact local technical colleges and develop apprenticeships to safeguard some labour supply.  Domestic UK labour will be in short supply and thus it is likely that wage costs will increase.

Additionally, materials are being stockpiled by larger constructors to preserve their supplies.  Although for smaller SME’s this may not be an option however that does not prevent discussions to be had with suppliers over safeguarding supplies.  Alternatively, get creative, form collectives with other businesses in similar situations to increase buying power.  Of course, another option would be to look to wholesalers to guarantee supply.

Meanwhile, work with customers to manage expectations.  For example, where there is a risk exposure discuss it with the client.  Alternatively, there may be flexibility to change payment profiles or to use clients monies to safeguard supplies.

 

Obviously, Brexit is a challenge however develop pragmatic solutions and the risks become manageable.  Unfortunately, the only downside is that we still don’t know what type of Brexit we are getting thus we need to plan for all eventualities.

If you need help with planning then get in touch.

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