CIOB responds to Chancellor's latest budget measures
The Chartered Institute of Building (CIOB) has positively responded to the Chancellor’s announcement of the intention to scale up construction projects in a bid to kickstart the post COVID-19 economy.
As the Chancellor noted, the construction industry is set to play a key role in restarting the economy and helping the nation to recover from the impacts of the crisis. The CIOB’s report, The Real Face of Construction 2020, finds that the construction industry accounts for around 6 per cent of the UK’s total economic output and provides jobs for 2.3 million people – about 7.1 per cent of the UK total.
The CIOB welcomes the introduction of the Green Homes Grant as a means of kick-starting the economy and ensuring a green recovery. It encourages the Government to take a considered approach to ensure that all home improvements are carried out within a rigorous regulatory framework and constructed in line with applicable standards to the highest quality. Those carrying out improvement work must have the appropriate skills and qualifications necessary to do so properly. Consumers must be made fully aware of the suitability of each type of measure for their home in order so they can make informed choices, and must have access to appropriate redress when things go wrong.
While the Chancellor’s new voucher scheme for home improvements is a welcome first step, it represents only one part of the path towards decarbonisation, and will need to be supported with further effort, management and oversight in order to provide the best long-term solutions for maintaining and improving our built environment. The CIOB urges the Government to incorporate these decarbonisation measures into a sustained national retrofit strategy, as a core element of the Government’s Industrial Strategy. This will provide a clear direction of travel for the construction industry and the certainty that businesses need to create stable, green jobs.
This will require a significant training and retraining programme for retrofitting skills as well as a strong commitment from the Government to ensure long term investment in the sector. The CIOB therefore welcomes the Chancellor’s announcement to support young people into employment through apprenticeships and traineeships. The CIOB urges the Government to ensure these pave a clear pathway into long term employment to avoid the mistakes of the past and prevent skills shortages in the construction industry.
Caroline Gumble, CEO of the Chartered Institute of Building, said:
“The CIOB is appreciative of the Chancellor’s understanding of the importance of the construction sector in rebuilding the economy following this worldwide pandemic. To see this targeted support delivered for an industry which is an important driver of the economy is excellent. While the first steps are now in motion, many of these initiatives require further actions to ensure longevity and security, and we look forward to supporting the government and our colleagues in the sector to succeed in delivering solid measures to rebuild the economy.”