5 July 2018 | Herpreet Kaur Grewal
Business and energy secretary Greg Clark has announced a new partnership between the government and the construction sector worth £420 million in a speech to the Northern Powerhouse Summit in Newcastle upon Tyne.
The government has said almost half of the economy is reliant on the built environment and the services it enables, and the Construction Sector Deal would be "bringing together the construction, manufacturing, energy and digital sectors to deliver innovative approaches that improve productivity in construction and accelerate a shift to building safer, healthier and more affordable places to live and learn that use less energy".
Clark said: "The construction industry is fundamental to growing our economy as we build to invest in our future. Major infrastructure projects like HS2 and the commitment to deliver 1.5 million homes by 2022 mean that we need a construction sector that can drive innovation, delivering homes and infrastructure quicker.
"As buildings account for around 30 per cent of total emissions, we also want to ensure that we are at the global forefront in designing and building smart, energy efficient and affordable homes and buildings through the Clean Growth Grand Challenge, saving families money on their bills.
"This sector deal is supported by the biggest government investment in construction for at least a decade and will drive economic growth and create well-paid, highly skilled jobs in every part of the UK."
Andrew Wolstenholme, co-chair of the Construction Leadership Council, said: "Securing this deal sends out a statement about the vital contribution our sector makes to the country. Our industry builds the schools to educate the young, the hospitals to care for the sick, the police stations to keep us safe, the roads and railways that get us to work, the power stations that keep us warm and the homes we return to each day."
The Construction Sector Deal will deliver:
£420 million investment in 'bytes and mortar smart construction' - investment will transform construction through use of digital building design, new manufacturing technologies and offsite manufacturing helping to cut the time taken to deliver new-builds by 50 per cent.
Cheaper energy bills for families and businesses - supporting the Industrial Strategy mission to halve the energy use of new-builds by 2030.
25,000 construction apprenticeship starts and 1,000 Construction T Level placements by 2020 to help give young people the skills that industry needs - with £34 million to scale up innovative training models across the country.
$2.5 trillion of global exports - a globally competitive sector targeting the growing international infrastructure market that is set to grow by 70 per cent in the years ahead.