Early indications from BALI trade survey 2020
In November we launched our State of Trade Survey for designers, contractors, suppliers and training provider members to complete. A total of 67 responses (compared to 54 responses in 2016) were received and are currently being analysed by our team at Landscape House. The work is expected to be completed in January 2021 but we have identified some key topline trends ahead of the calendar year-end.
At this early stage, the initial findings are interesting. Members who took part in the survey have told us that they remain cautiously optimistic when looking ahead at the next 12 month period, and are likely to bring consistent or minor increases in workload from commercial and domestic sectors. Public sector workloads are likely to stagnate or decrease slightly during the same period.
Availability of materials and social distancing requirements seem to be two of the biggest concerns facing the industry, with 60% reporting moderate to major problems with sourcing suitable products and equipment and over 40% stating the pressures of adapting to new social distancing measures have been difficult, but on a positive note recorded sickness was low, showing signs of resilience against adversity, a staple of the landscaping sector.
Over 60% of members also confirmed that there was no reduced demand for works from new clients in the last 12 months, with either negligible or minor responses. In training and recruitment, over 40% have found it more difficult to hire supervisors compared to administrator roles, primarily office-based, which are almost 24% easier to recruit for.
Currently, the greatest constraints for designers and contractors appear to be from labour and materials shortages, together with coronavirus. Brexit is not currently a concern. With a COVID-19 vaccine being rolled out across the UK and a Brexit trade deal likely before Christmas, there are signs that 2021 may have a far more positive outlook, despite some challenges early on.
BALI members can download a preliminary report here. Members will need to login to access and download. The full statistical report will be published in January 2021 and will be made available exclusively to all BALI members.