Construction is a vital enabling sector which can spread jobs and prosperity throughout the wider economy. This is the central message of the Construction Industry Council’s election briefing, Constructing a Better Future, which is published today in two versions, a Summary outlining the recommendations and a Full report.
Constructing a Better Future shows that issues affecting the construction industry are also crucial politically: such as housing; the price of energy; and achieving value for money while maintaining standards. These are all examples of issues which are vital to the creation of a balanced economy and a prosperous future.
CIC recommendations include:
Investing in infrastructure – The UK has to build more homes. Coupled with this, there must be sustained investment in transport to drive economic growth. We also have to replace many of our ageing power stations to meet our EU climate change commitments and to provide for national energy security. A sustained programme of investment which will create growth and jobs nationwide is needed to do this.
Quality in the built environment – Environmentally sustainable building designs, investment in the skills needed to produce a diverse workforce and a commitment to safety in construction are all aspects of a “quality agenda” which needs to be promoted by the next government. Creating a built environment which promotes both healthy life-styles and vibrant communities, vastly increases perceptions of “quality of life” as well as producing cost savings in health care in the long term.
Planning for construction – An integrated approach to creating the communities we need is vital. We need to build more but we also need to build better. An improvement in the way in which we procure the housing and infrastructure we need will achieve savings which can be used elsewhere. Strategic planning, driven by revitalised city regions can achieve the sort of co-ordinated development which drives economic growth and regional prosperity.
Launching the new publication, CIC Chairman, Tony Burton, said:
“It is vital that government and industry work together to help bring about the growth and prosperity which the UK’s world leading expertise in construction and the built environment can produce. We face challenges from climate change, sustainability and economic imperatives. Whether it is through increasing our stock of new places to work, manufacture and live, improving our existing buildings or improving and providing new infrastructure, the construction industry and all those within it have critical roles to play. The sector is in growth, providing employment opportunities at all levels. It is vital that all parliamentary candidates understand the critical role that construction plays in the wider economy and in each constituency and CIC would welcome discussions with all who are interested in learning more about this key sector of our economy”.