May 2014 – Quarrying & Aggregates
“It’s an ill wind that blows nobody any good”. How true. And while we’re at it, let’s not forget that
“every cloud has a silver lining”. Very comforting.
Offhand, I can’t think of any sayings that acknowledge the reverse of these old clichés, but there ought to be some because while we should celebrate the recovery in workloads there are some major problems looming too.
There’s the skills shortage for a start. Outfits like Building Lives (page 66) are doing great work recruiting from the ranks of the unemployed. But more needs to be done across the board to fix this problem.
More worrying - because there’s less we can do about it - is the spectre of rising costs. Materials are in short supply and buyers are reporting lead-in times of more than 40 weeks for bricks.
As our in-depth feature on the aggregates sector reveals starting on page 35, prices of our most essential materials could quite easily soar by up to 30% in just a year or two.
Should we be worried? I suppose so, although I rather hope that market forces will prevent a melt-down. In the meantime, let’s not forget that this particular cloud is the product of its own silver lining.
Quarrying & Aggregates