It has been well publicised over the last year or so how badly the construction sector of our economy has fared. According the Office For National Statistics (ONS): The total volume of construction output in the first quarter of 2012 fell by 4.8 per cent compared with the fourth quarter of 2011 (constant prices, seasonally adjusted).

The construction industry supports many associated industries with it, plastering, plumbing, electricity, flooring, metal works and our own window industry, just for a start. If the construction industry struggles, we all do. So while the industry may not be doing as bad as was first thought at the beginning of this year, the specter of a construction industry grinding to a halt is one which is always going to pose a big threat to the wider economy.

Announced just today, multi-million pound construction company Doyle Group has been placed into administration. They do: specialist concrete works commercial interior fit-out, building, development, project finance services and plant hire. They employ 312 staff and saw their revenues drop 35%. This isn’t the first construction sector casualty, and probably won’t be the last. But we need sizable companies like this to remain in place.

The austerity measures implemented by this Government are crippling construction. People and companies aren’t able to get their hands on extra credit which could fund new projects like housing which would get first time buyers onto the ladder and help create a bit of spending. Instead, they’re setting crushing pay freezes, massive cuts across the board and stifling spending when we need to be spending to grow our way out. And I’d also like to say, while we’re on the subject, that this whole crisis cannot be blamed on the last Government. The world financial collapse meant that the Labour Government had to borrow vast amounts of cash to stop our ailing banks from going under and taking all our money with it. I’m sure things would have been much harder today if we wouldn’t have been able to get our cash from the machines if they had gone bust!

Like I’ve said, construction supports a number of other industries associated with it. If we get that going again, like we have with our car industry, then things might start to look a bit more positive and may help drag the overall economy out of the mire. More investment needed!

During the boom years of this industry, construction was also booming. Big new projects require lots of windows, whether they’re PVC for hundreds of homes, or skyscrapers which need aluminium curtain walling. Our industry had some of the best years it had in decades while construction was in good health. I hope that the government will so realise how important it is to get investment back in this sector and give the country a big kick up the arse!