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Construction business leaders remain confident in sector stability despite national insolvency crisis

Kennards Hire’s annual ‘Construction Confidence Check’ shows majority (83%) of Australia’s construction leaders view the industry as ‘stable’

SYDNEY, July 31, 2023 /PRNewswire/ — Today Kennards Hire, Australia’s largest family-owned equipment hire company, has released its second annual ‘Construction Confidence Check’ survey results, revealing an interesting outlook of the industry.

According to the survey, the majority (83%) of construction business leaders surveyed view the industry as ‘stable’ and able to withstand pressures to continue growing. At the C-suite level, this number increases with almost 9 in 10 (87%) agreeing that the industry is ‘stable’.

The 2023 Kennards Hire Construction Confidence Check* surveyed over 500 of Australia’s business leaders in the construction industry with 20+ employees. The findings demonstrate how boardrooms are faring in the current environment, highlighting perceptions of small and large businesses operating in the industry.

At Kennards Hire, we pride ourselves on our excellent customer service. The Construction Confidence Check allows us to stay attuned to the industry’s outlook, ensuring we remain well-informed and can continue to use our expertise to help businesses navigate mounting pressures,” said Tony Symons, General Manger Commercial at Kennards Hire.

Compared to last year’s Construction Confidence Check, while overall confidence in Australia’s construction industry has improved, this year’s survey results indicate a sentiment shift based on business size and location.

  • In smaller businesses (20-99 employees), confidence increased (86% in 2023 vs. 74% in 2022)
  • In larger businesses (100+ employees), confidence declined (80% in 2023 vs. 92% in 2022)
  • In NSW and VIC, confidence slightly declined (83% in 2023 vs. 86% in 2022), however the rest of Australia (QLD, SA, WA, TAS, NT & ACT) shows confidence increased (84% in 2023 vs. 72% in 2022).

Australia’s construction industry is resilient and adaptable, so it’s no surprise that most business leaders are hopeful about the future. Based on our survey results and conversations with industry leaders, we know the difficulties experienced by some construction businesses does not define the entire sector. However, we also know that many are still feeling the impact of external factors. In fact, our survey shows that 56% of business leaders say rising costs of materials is their top issue impacting confidence in the industry, followed by skilled labour shortages (51%) and supply chain issues (45%),” said Symons.

To achieve stability and growth in the construction sector over the next five years, construction business leaders surveyed ranked solving the rising cost of materials (50%), skilled labour shortages (42%), the rising cost of equipment (40%) and supply chain issues (37%) in the top macro issues to solve for.

The 2023 Kennards Hire Construction Confidence Check survey also explored industry perceptions on ESG, revealing that:

  • Construction business leaders are taking their ESG responsibilities seriously with 59% saying their company has an ESG strategy in place,
  • Of those who have an ESG strategy in place or are looking to implement one2, 48% say the use of eco-friendly and sustainable materials is a step they are taking to improve ESG outcomes, closely followed by proper waste management and material recycling (43%),
  • Of those who do not have an ESG strategy in place, common barriers to further progressing their ESG strategy include costs (39%), supply chain risks (38%), lack of knowledge and understanding of how an ESG strategy can benefit their business (37%) and a lack of knowledge and understanding on exactly what an ESG involves (36%).

Now more than ever, the power of the circular economy is helping businesses cut costs. At Kennards Hire, we support construction business leaders find cost-savings whilst simultaneously improving ESG outcomes. By choosing to hire equipment instead of purchasing, businesses can reduce upfront costs, participate in the sharing economy, and have access to the latest technology without the burden of ownership,” said Symons.

Notes to the editor:

1 The findings from the 2023 Kennards Hire Construction Confidence Check are the result of a survey conducted by YouGov from 19 – 28 May 2023. The sample comprised of 501 senior business leaders/ decision makers from construction businesses with 20+ employees in Australia.
2 n = 475
3 n = 204

About Kennards Hire:

Kennards Hire is an Australian family-owned and operated equipment hire company celebrating 75 years in business, with almost 200 sites and branches across Australia and New Zealand. Their diverse product range extends from general hire equipment for the home renovator and professional tradesperson to specialist equipment and heavy machinery used on some of the largest civil infrastructure and commercial construction projects in two countries.