Construction Industry Trends – November 2019
A monthly review of how bigger picture construction industry trends are affecting the BIM world.
OCTOBER data: courtesy of market/CIPS:
9 KEY FINDINGS:
- A sustained decline in UK construction output;
- Overall volumes of work falling for the sixth consecutive month;
- Another sharp drop in new work, although the rate of contraction was the slowest for three months;
- Workforce numbers continue to reduce due to a lack of new work to replace completed projects;
- Employment numbers have declined in each month since April;
- 2020 optimism remains among the weakest seen since 2012;
- Large-scale civil engineering projects should boost workloads in the next 12 months;
- Client demand subdued due to political uncertainty and the economic backdrop;
- Political uncertainty continues to cloud the outlook.
HOW IS THIS AFFECTING BIM SPECIALISTS?
The lack of new projects obviously has an impact on the demand for BIM specialists but there is still demand.
More BIM specialists are looking for work. Primarily because good people want to keep up with the pace setters and many companies are falling behind.
So, with less demand and more supply, clients are spoilt for choice. They are less willing to compromise on experience – because they don’t have to. Likeability is still vital but, increasingly, because good BIM competency is more available, the focus is shifting towards project experience, length of commute and, notably salary.
SALARIES are still ‘OK’ but, with so much choice, clients do not need to dangle big carrots to attract good talent at the moment. At least they don’t think they do!
WARNING NOTICE! With clients’ ‘must have‘ lists growing there are too many sponges being thrown into the talent pool. Some have to be removed. Unfortunately, the last sponge to be removed is usually the budget with the first being, increasingly, BIM competency. Too often we are seeing people being employed for roles way above current competency – purely because they are ‘within budget’. Unless there are good mentors there to support, this is bound to affect the quality of BIM implementation and delivery.
It is easy to assume that this trend is due to budget but it can also be a lack of understanding of what competency is needed and/or what candidates have. This is why we have been working with BIM experts to create an industry standard – the BIM Career Ladder. This week sees the launch of the beta version of the BIM Capability Assessment tool. This free, online assessment enables employers and employees to assess and compare BIM competency against the industry standard.
BIM RECRUITMENT TRENDS
Demand is still being dictated by budgets within projects. Central overhead (that funds the non-project strategic / innovative stuff) is out of bounds while the accountants continue to protect against the rain.
WHO: We continue to see demand for BIM Coordinators and BIM Graduates. The former to replace leavers and/or increase capability on existing projects. The latter to grow future talent and reduce costs. There is reducing demand for more expensive BIM Managers and very little for centrally funded BIM Leads.
WHERE: Geographically, new roles are focussed in London, Manchester, Ireland and Europe. Driven by new projects starting where there’s a shortage of good BIM experience.
PROJECTS: Primarily civils as per Markit/CIPS predictions:
- Latest data points to the greatest drop in residential work for over three years;
- Commercial construction fell for the tenth month running;
- Large-scale civil engineering projects should boost workloads in the next 12 months.
BIM SALARY TRENDS
BIM LEAD: Level with downward pressure
BIM MANAGER: Level with downward pressure
BIM COORDINATOR: Level with fluctuations above and below the norm
BIM TECHNICIAN: Level with downward pressure
BIM APPRENTICE: Level with upward pressure
For more detail read our latest BIM Salary Guides