Confidence rises for shopfitters amid skills fears

According to a survey carried out by the National Association of Shopfitters, confidence among shopfitters is higher than at any point since 1999 and, among larger shopfitters, since 1997.

The survey showed half of larger firms were more optimistic about the general business situation than they were in the first quarter of the year.

The other 50 per cent polled felt that business would remain 'about the same'. Of the smaller companies, 38 per cent were optimistic, with only 13 per cent displaying pessimism.

The NAS said the number of workers directly employed has not risen in line with the increased level of activity in the sector, fuelling concern that skill shortages could become acute if the trend continued.

- NAS survey: page 29.