BSRIA applauds the announcement of the government commission into a major review of the construction labour market in its latest bid to reform the sector and enable it to help power economic growth and solve the housing crisis.
Housing minister Brandon Lewis and construction and skills minister Nick Boles are understood to have signed off on the Construction Labour Model review, which will include a full public consultation and be carried out by former Arcadis consultant Mark Farmer.
The Construction Leadership Council (CLC) will oversee Farmer’s work on the review. It is set to be the most ‘high-profile’ piece of work taken on by the CLC since the decision last summer to scrap the role of chief construction adviser and restructure the body into a 12-strong board.
The report will look at both the traditional barriers to upskilling the industry, and the impact of new technology and reforms to the way the sector worked. Recommendations will be made to the industry, government and potentially third parties such as institutions and financers.
The second part will ask the question of: ‘How do we change the way that we build so we can come up with a less labour-reliant method of construction?’ This is not just about off-site construction, but about innovations such as on-site robotics, which can potentially replace labour-intensive activities and make the industry more attractive.
Julia Evans, Chief Executive, BSRIA, said: “BSRIA is very much supportive of this commission and consultation and, on behalf of the industry and our members, would very much like to be involved every step of the way. Such commission hasn’t come a day too late. Especially with the current housing shortage or ‘crisis’ as the government has indeed put it. Economic growth – for both the UK and the industry – is paramount.
The repeated message from BSRIA is that how is any building or construction going to be built when there is a severe skills shortage in the industry? Upskilling is also a key issue, running alongside that of apprenticeships and the current uncertainly surrounding the apprenticeship levy.
Some of the ‘offsite’ building and zero waste methods that are currently being adopted do represent an exciting development though.”
Consultation link: construction industry labour model review
The deadline is: Monday 29th February 2016.