Bytes and Mortar: Construction Sector Deal
Speaking at the Northern Powerhouse Summit in Newcastle, the Business and Energy Secretary Greg Clark, has announced a transformative deal for the construction sector.
The Construction Sector Deal will see innovative technologies applied to construction designed to increase productivity. The joint government-industry Sector Deal, worth £420M, will help tackle the housing crisis by allowing new homes to be constructed more quickly and with less disruption.
Digital design and offsite manufacturing will revolutionise construction as well as supporting the Clean Growth Grand Challenge mission to halve the energy use of new builds by 2030.
The Sector deal is the biggest investment in construction in a decade, and with almost half of the economy reliant on the built environment the government intends to improve productivity and safety, and use less energy. Construction, manufacturing, energy and digital sectors will be brought together to explore innovative approaches, which will revolutionise the industry.
Business and Energy Secretary Greg Clark said: “The construction industry is fundamental to growing our economy as we build to invest in our future. Major infrastructure projects like HS2 and the commitment to deliver 1.5M homes by 2022 mean that we need a construction sector that can drive innovation, delivering homes and infrastructure quicker.
“As buildings account for around 30% of total emissions, we also want to ensure that we are at the global forefront in designing and building smart, energy efficient and affordable homes and buildings through the Clean Growth Grand Challenge, saving families money on their bills.
“This Sector Deal is supported by the biggest government investment in construction for at least a decade and will drive economic growth and create well-paid highly-skilled jobs in every part of the UK.”
Andrew Wolstenholme, Co-Chair of the Construction Leadership Council said: “Securing this deal sends out a statement about the vital contribution our sector makes to the country. Our industry builds the schools to educate the young, the hospitals to care for the sick, the police stations to keep us safe, the roads and railways that get us to work, the power stations that keep us warm and the homes we return to each day.
“We are an industry that must be at the forefront of the UK’s drive for future growth and prosperity – and I’m confident that this deal will help to achieve that.”
The investment aims to transform construction productivity by driving the development digital building design, new innovative construction materials and manufacturing techniques which will speed up building time, reduce disruption and ensure the homes, workplaces and public buildings of the future are more energy efficient. The deal will support the development of affordable, easy to construct homes – supporting the government’s ambition of delivering 1.5M new homes by 2022, schools and other buildings which can be quickly and sustainably manufactured offsite, then assembled where and when needed.
The deal will also support the development of construction skills to help tackle the skills crisis within the sector. Some £34M will be invested in innovative construction training programmes across the country, designed to up-skill the existing workforce, while there is also a commitment to increase the number of apprenticeship starts to 25,000 by 2020. The new T-levels will be implemented with government support to offer high quality construction industry placements.
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