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The construction industry responds to the Queen’s speech

Following the Queen’s speech at the formal State Opening of the Houses of Parliament, various leading members of the construction industry have commented on what this means for the sector.

In the responses, various construction industry professionals focused upon the Government’s supposed allocation of greater powers to local authorities, allowing people to decide on how funding will be spent in their own local areas, while also drawing some attention to the skills and sustainability pledges.

The Chief Executive of the RTPI, Victoria Hills stated: “The RTPI welcomes the government’s commitment in the Queen’s speech to invest in much needed infrastructure to unlock the potential to deliver the communities that people want to live in.

“Over the past decade, local authority planning teams have seen a reduction of 42 per cent in funding, a situation which must now be urgently addressed to allow the government to deliver its promise to give communities more control over how investment is spent.

“It was also pleasing to hear that the government plans to continue work to meet its net-zero carbon targets but planners have called for stronger direction and more resources to help them deliver these targets by 2050.”

The Chief Executive of the Scape Group, Mark Robinson added, “Importantly, it [the Queen’s speech] also outlined an intention to give communities increased involvement in how this investment is allocated. Local decision-making is vital and ensures that our infrastructure decisions align with local priorities and generates real benefits for the local economy.

“Looking beyond this, the agenda is ambitious and I eagerly await further detail on the investment into the National Skills Fund, the government’s approach to immigration and the infrastructure projects that will be prioritised.”

The Chief Executive of the FMB, Brian Berry concluded: “A skilled construction workforce will be critical to delivering on the Government’s plans for infrastructure and housing set out in today’s Queen’s Speech. Over half of small builders are struggling to recruit a bricklayer or carpenter, yet it could prove very difficult to fill these roles from outside the UK under the proposed points-based immigration system.

“The Government must work with industry to ensure that the new immigration system works for construction, and that the National Skills Fund trains our domestic workforce in the trades that are needed or else the sector will struggle to deliver.”

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