Stair manufacturer confidence on the rise

A new survey among UK timber stair companies has revealed ambitions for significant staff increases in the year ahead.

In a poll of British Woodworking Federation (BWF) Stair Scheme members, 81% of respondents are expecting to create jobs within the next 12 months, and of those expecting to create jobs, 55% are aiming to make 10-50 employment opportunities within their company.

The survey suggests that members are feeling positive about the industry and are motivated to plan investments. However, some these hopes have been suppressed by the current construction climate, with the skills shortage identified by 73% of respondents as a major constraint to the UK timber stairs market. Other factors causing concern were cost increases and economic uncertainty.

Hannah Mansell, BWF schemes and technical manager, said: “Our members seem to be very optimistic about the future of the market but obviously they have concerns. Price is continuing to be a large factor for many clients which means that quality and safety can be compromised.

“The current skills shortage aggravates the situation further as it is leaving more opportunities for installation issues and a lack of technical compliance on site. These are all concerns that the BWF Stair Scheme will be continuing to address in 2016.”