One large construction company has recently called on the government to provide greater support to those working in the sector.
Planning and Building Control Today reported on the statements from Mace in its latest release: A Manifesto for Construction and the Built Environment. The report pointed out that the construction sector contributes some £110 billion to the UK’s economy and is one of the largest employers in the country.
As a result, it wants the next government to dedicate resources to supporting the sector. It has made a number of recommendations about how this could be done.
One of the key suggestions is to create a Department for Growth that could handle large infrastructure projects. All too often, these kinds of projects cover different areas, including housing, transport, planning and business regulation, all of which are currently dealt with by different departments.
Bringing all of this under one roof would “improve decision making and efficiency”, the manifesto asserted.
Another area where the UK’s construction sector needs support is in moving towards a decarbonised future. There is a substantial skills gap when it comes to expertise in the field of low-carbon construction, and this is something that needs to be urgently addressed.
Failing to do so could hinder the UK’s attempts to reach its net-zero carbon emissions target by 2050.
Chief executive of Mace Mark Reynolds told the news provider that the construction sector rarely gets the attention it deserves from politicians, given how much it contributes to the country’s economy.
“Whoever ends up running the country in December, we know that our industry will need their support. In our manifesto, we’ve outlined a number of clear and straightforward policy changes that would give our sector the certainty to invest and continue to grow,” he stated.
Mace isn’t the only organisation calling for changes in the construction industry. Earlier this month the National Federation of Builders’ (NFB) Major Contractors Group published a report detailing what’s required for the country’s construction industry to transition to a low-carbon future.
The NFB pointed out that the construction industry is the largest contributor to UK carbon emissions and therefore that it’s essential to make changes here if the country is to have any hope of hitting its 2050 target for net-zero emissions.
Chair of the NFB’s Major Contractors Group Mark Wakeford stressed that this will require significant investment from the government. However, he added that the recommendations made in the report are about more than just money.
“The transformation required in the construction industry is multifaceted and it is critical that industry and government take a joined-up approach to bring together developments in skills, procurement, design, products and materials, transport and more,” he asserted.
The report also highlights the significant opportunities for the country’s construction industry if it embraces a more sustainable way of building. This includes areas such as the transformation of skills and flood defences, as well as commercial and domestic construction.
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