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BCSA President praises steelwork sector’s resilience

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Speaking at the British Constructional Steelwork Association’s (BCSA) National Dinner, sponsored by Barrett Steel, Strumis and Ficep, BCSA President Mark Denham reminded attendees of the steelwork sector’s strength, resilience and adaptability.

Mr Denham said the sector had survived an unprecedented period of challenges and uncertainty and remains robust and successful.

“If you can cast your mind back to the night of the 23rd June 2016, it was the date of one of our National Dinners and it was also the date of the EU referendum.

“Did anybody think we were going to wake up to a “leave” result the morning after. Whether you voted for it or you didn’t, Brexit caused a period of great uncertainty. As the Brexit dust began to settle, I like many others thought things were getting better.

“Then along came the various waves of COVID with their lockdowns, furlough schemes and business retention loans all to be dealt with on top of your normal workloads. But, deal with them we did. The steel construction industry adapted and continued when many other industries stalled.”

As the worst effects of the pandemic receded and demand increased, the industry has had to deal with a number of other serious issues.

“To compound matters, the terrible loss of life and suffering caused by Russia’s invasion of the Ukraine has also had consequences for our industry, with further price volatility and material availability problems adversely affecting budgets and programmes on many schemes.

“Going forward, I believe that although we’ve had to contend with large inflationary pressures in the recent past, a lot of these pressures have now plateaued and if this new stability can be maintained, we may all have a “soft landing” after this latest crisis.

“But, what I do know, is that there have not been too many cases of companies ceasing to trade, which is a real achievement in this kind of trading environment. It’s reassuring to know that despite all of these challenges, the UK steel construction industry remains robust and successful.”

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