In her New Year’s newsletter message to members of the UK-based CEA, Johal writes: “Last year was another year where we were tested to our limits. However, we can be proud of the resilience and tenacity that our sector has demonstrated during these extraordinary times, where the Covid pandemic continued to change the way we did business.
“We strengthened the CEA further by welcoming new members and continued to deliver important initiatives which will help to guarantee our continued success as an association in the future.
“Evidence of how the construction equipment sector has risen to the challenge of a different working dynamic is illustrated in the latest market data figures from our data analyst, Paul Lyons, which show that UK construction equipment sales are ahead of 2018 and 2019 levels – which is incredible.”
Johal says that findings have revealed that retail sales of construction and earthmoving equipment in the first eleven months of last year were 51% up on 2020 levels, reaching over 34,000 units, which is “fantastic” news for the sector.
She continues: “What is really encouraging is that the latest updates are still demonstrating strong market demand, as reported by many of our members, despite the impact of supply chain issues for materials and labour, which is constraining construction market activity.”
Having been in office for just over three months, Johal says she identified from talking with members that the skills shortage remains very high on the agenda. She highlights that with the upcoming launch of the CEA skills committee and as active members of the National Manufacturing Skills Task Force, the association will be working with government and industry to highlight the opportunities within the construction and earthmoving equipment sector to encourage new recruits and upskill the existing workforce to work with emerging technologies.
Johal adds: “Sustainability and the road to net-zero are high amongst priorities, as are alternative fuels which are driving change. These topics and many more will be addressed at the forthcoming FutureWorx event in March, which we are hosting with the support of National Highways, The Supply Chain Sustainability School, and HS2.
“We are at the dawn of a new era, and I am enormously proud to be part of it. I look forward to working with you in 2022 to take the CEA from strength to strength.”