Nearly half of construction companies in Lisburn have made redundancies

46 PERCENT of construction firms in Lisburn made redundancies between November 2007 and November 2009, according to a new report.

The report, 'Impact of the Recession on Construction Professionals', was launched during a seminar hosted by the Construction Industry Council at Stormont recently.

It outlines the findings of recent research conducted by CIC and Construction Skills highlighting the current and future economic climate and its effect on a broad range of practitioners such as architects, civil engineers and quantity surveyors.

The report shows the recession has hit the construction professional services hard, with architects and quantity surveyors affected the most. In addition, 54% of firms had seen a decrease in their fee incomes in the 12 months to October 2009.

Lagan Valley MLA Jeffrey Donaldson said the construction industry is 'one of the most important but greatest affected in Northern Ireland by the recession'.

"I am keen to see further progress made in developing the Maze Regeneration Site, which would help create hundreds of jobs for the construction industry and offer new opportunities for service providers to the sector" he said.

Another local MLA, Paul Butler, said: "The economic downturn has greatly impacted virtually every profession in Northern Ireland. This report is very significant as it highlights the extent of recession in the construction industry by providing accurate analysis of redundancy figures, reduced working hours and declining fee incomes. More importantly, it sheds light on the future of the construction industry and the steps that must be taken to ensure a successful and more sustainable future."

Dr. Lynda Martin, Chair of the Construction Industry Council NI, said: "The construction industry is expected to remain in recession this year, albeit with a much shorter fall in activity than was witnessed in 2009, before returning to modest growth in 2011. The recovery process will be slow and 2012 employment is projected to still be nearly 11% below the 2008 peak."

Mark Way, Director of Skills for the Construction Industry Council said: "The aftermath of the recession will create new opportunities, particularly those driven by sustainability and the carbon energy agenda. We may see a rise of a new 'environmental consultant', helping clients to make informed decisions regarding renewable technologies appropriate for their businesses."