Industrial Strategy: Government taps ‘golden opportunity’ with £420m Construction Sector Deal
A new deal between the Government and the construction industry with the potential to add billions of pounds to the economy has been unveiled.
Announced today (November 29) by Business and Energy Secretary Greg Clark, the agreement is one of several Sector Deals highlighted in the Government’s recently published Industrial Strategy white paper.
The aim is to transform the sector with improved adoption of digital and manufacturing technologies, which could ultimately see infrastructure and housing delivered more quickly and at lower cost to the taxpayer.
The Construction Sector Deal will also look to boost the skills of construction workers while training the next generation.
To support the deal, the Government confirmed it will invest £170m over three years through the Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund, backed by £250m in match funding from the industry.
Greg Clark MP said: “Our construction industry makes a vital contribution to the UK economy and is one of our most important sectors, with businesses that add £138bn a year to the economy, contribute 8% of our GDP, and employ over 3.1m workers.
“The Sector Deal we have announced today will see government and industry working together to support, invest and transform the construction sector, creating high-skilled and well-paying jobs, while delivering more housing for people across the country.”
Speaking further, he said: “The agreement embodies our vision for a modern Industrial Strategy, with government and industry working together in a strategic partnership towards the common goal of higher productivity, and a more skilled construction workforce with more earning power.”
Chair of the Construction Leadership Council, Andrew Wolstenholme, commented: “I am delighted that construction has been included in the first wave of sector deals. It presents a huge opportunity for one of the UK’s largest industries and the broader economy.
“With a projected £600bn pipeline of infrastructure projects to be delivered over the coming decades, it is vital that the industry and government work together to realise the full potential of the deal.”
He continued: “We have a golden opportunity to reap economic gains from improved productivity and the more efficient construction of assets, creating high-skilled, well-paid jobs in all parts of the UK and driving up exports to the global infrastructure market.”
Tony Meggs, chief exec of the Infrastructure and Projects Authority (IPA), said: “It is vital that the construction sector is modern and efficient in the way it delivers these plans.
“Only then will we see future investment continue to flow and make progress in closing the UK’s productivity gap.”
He added: “The IPA very much supports this Construction Sector Deal; we will support and align with industry as it implements the programme.”