Mark Robinson, Scape Group Chief Executive, comments on the recent CIPS/Markit Construction PMI: “It is extremely encouraging to see a bounce back in construction activity in November. Although for the time being growth is limited to residential housebuilding, the Government’s commitment to big ticket infrastructure spend such as the Cambridge – Milton Keynes – Oxford corridor, and a fresh £300m for HS2 to accommodate the Northern Powerhouse and the Midlands Engine, will help to bring new opportunities forward. Public infrastructure investment will also help to create the right conditions for private sector investment too.

“However rising construction costs and the accompanying skills shortage remain a significant concern. We cannot afford the capacity squeeze that could arise if there are not enough skilled people to deliver essential infrastructure. As well as the fresh investment announced in the Budget, the industry must also embrace the Government’s commitment to innovation and training in order to strengthen its capability in 2018.”

• Residential work drives modest construction rebound in November

• Business optimism picks up from October’s near five-year low

• New orders and employment numbers also increased to the greatest extent in five months.