The Institution of Civil Engineers (ICE) responds to the Construction Sector Deal, published today by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy.
Nick Baveystock, ICE Director General, said:
“We are pleased to see the details of the Sector Deal, which recognises the important role construction plays as a cornerstone of the UK’s economy.
“This deal shows that the Government has made a firm commitment to transforming the sector.
“We welcome, in particular, the focus on creating a new sustainable business model for construction, which the report recognises is in line with the work we have been doing on Project 13. This industry-led initiative has created a model that will boost certainty and productivity in delivery, improve whole life outcomes in operation and support a more sustainable, innovative, highly skilled industry; all things the Sector Deal has emphasised are needed.
“The focus on priority areas including future construction skills and creating a more productive, sustainable industry echoes ICE’s own analysis. We need new talent and skills to help to build the Britain of the future, meeting society’s changing needs through digital transformation of infrastructure and increased productivity in housing delivery.
“This deal offers a substantial opportunity to enhance sectoral productivity and put UK construction at the forefront of international innovation.
“It is now up to the industry to grab the opportunities this deal offers us with two hands. We should also remember that this document should not be seen as static, but rather provide a platform for continuous collaboration between all relevant government departments, industry and trade bodies.”
Lord Robert Mair, ICE President, said:
"The Sector Deal is an important step forward for industry and the Government, who have shown their commitment to work in collaboration to develop a collective plan to transform the construction sector.
"I am particularly pleased to see a focus on future skills. As the industry adapts and changes to new technologies, so too do the skills we need our future engineers to be learning. Ensuring we have enough, highly talented professionals coming into the industry is paramount in ensuring our infrastructure is fit for future generations, and this is something ICE will address in its 2018 Skills Review next week.
"Working on a collective programme to plan for the digitalisation of construction, the use of offsite manufacturing, and the advent of smart infrastructure in delivery and operation of assets, makes it much more likely to succeed. It is good to see a strategic focus placed on offsite manufacturing, which has the potential to rebalance jobs more equitably throughout the country, provide higher quality, improve value for money from public investment and minimise disruption to local communities during the construction process.
"In a year in which ICE celebrates its 200th anniversary, it seems fitting that this deal can help lay the foundations for the future transformation of the industry, delivering a change for the better for those both working in, and benefiting from, the work our sector does."
Read the full Construction Sector Deal on the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy website.