A joint strategy named Construction 2025 was launched last week, setting out how industry and government will work together to put Britain at the forefront of global construction over the coming years.
Construction 2025 was developed over the last six months and is the result of government working with the Construction Products Association and other industry organisations, via the Strategic Forum for Construction, to create a long-term vision.
This vision will particularly focus on driving growth, not only for manufacturers and suppliers, but also throughout the entire industry, while promoting sustainability, innovation and advanced technologies such as Building Information Modelling (BIM). The new Construction Leadership Council, in which product manufacturers and suppliers will be a key partner, will provide the direction.
Together, industry and government have developed a defined set of aspirations for UK construction, including:
- Building UK manufacturers’ competitive advantage using BIM
- Increasing export opportunities for UK construction product manufacturers
- Tackling skills and manufacturing capacity and capability issues
- Developing a construction pipeline and manufacturing ‘demand map’ to 2025
- Improving SME access to financial support and tackling prompt payment issues
- Rationalising pre-qualification
- Promoting increased use of innovative products
- Encouraging new entrants to construction and the wider use of apprenticeships
- Improving the image of the industry.
Business and Energy Minister Michael Fallon said: “Construction accounts for nearly 7% of the UK economy, over 280,000 businesses and employs around 3m people. It is a sector where Britain has a strong competitive edge, the capabilities for rapid new development and a potential for unlocking great wealth for our economy.
“With the global construction market forecasted to grow by 70% by 2025, Britain is now in a global race for growth and jobs, and we can’t afford to be left behind. Growth requires joint action, which is why industry and government have come together to create this vision for the future of the construction sector.”
Geoff Cooper, chief executive of Travis Perkins and chairman of the Construction Products Association, was one of 18 key industry figures chosen by government to contribute to the Strategy via an Advisory Council. He said: “An Industrial Strategy is a great opportunity both for our sector and our country, and we've been calling for this kind of partnership for quite some time. This is the start of something new for the construction sector, and it's a chance to take concerted, coordinated action to boost growth and create jobs. We have to get behind it and make it work.”
Dr Diana Montgomery, chief executive of the Construction Products Association, commented: “The government is to be commended for working with industry and setting out a clear, yet achievable, action plan for improvements across the supply chain. This Strategy is not an end but a beginning. Our construction products manufacturers and suppliers – which contribute nearly 40% of the overall construction output every year – look forward to helping deliver the Strategy in partnership with government and the wider industry.”