International Construction Survey 2018 | Good news?

James Kenealey news


Consultancy company Turner & Townsend have recently released their International Construction Market survey for 2018.

Based on a survey of 46 markets across the world, the survey summarises that ‘good news’ is indeed afoot for the market across the global economy. The caveat to this is that industry continues to see the growth of the labour skills shortages that have become more common in recent years.

“Global construction is more buoyant than it has been for many years and in the short term at least, things are looking up.”


The survey points to the fact that almost half of the markets surveyed are expected to ‘heat up’ (demand increasing in relation to supply and a high number of projects) over the coming year which marks a significant improvement on last year. Of these markets, five were given the status of running ‘hot’ and three (Amsterdam, San Francisco and Seattle) were ‘overheating’.

The survey also points towards infrastructure being the hottest sector in the future, notably in developing countries.


As with many other sections within engineering, one of the dominant forces in the health of the construction and infrastructure industry is the skills shortage. The report indicates that skills shortages across the markets studied have increased from 20 last year to 24 this year. When discussing why this might be the case, the report suggests:

“An increasing proportion of the workforce is retiring or nearing retirement. There isn’t a simple answer, but investing in more technology, technical skills and training and more advanced construction techniques are essential.”

Of the markets surveyed, 67% of all respondents indicated that skilled labour shortages had a major impact on the ability to deliver construction projects.


It’s clearly a great time to get into construction. A growing market globally and issues with skills gaps means there is a heightened number of construction jobs that need to be filled.

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