Election 24: Industry body makes 12 demands of next government

A leading construction body has urged the next government to provide financial incentives to encourage companies to invest in modern methods of construction.

The Chartered Institute of Building (CIOB) made its views known in its manifesto for the forthcoming general election.

Major contractors have already called for a clear focus on construction during the campaign period running up to the vote on 4 July.

Now, the CIOB has set out 12 demands of the winning party, including a call for it to publish a “comprehensive strategy” for modern methods of construction within 100 days.

“There are numerous potential benefits of a shift to offsite and modular construction, including greater speed of onsite operations, reduced labour requirements, safer working conditions, reduced waste and potential for safer, higher-quality builds,” the institute said.

However, it warned that “significant” investment is required to adopt such methods.

“A more comprehensive government strategy for investment, including potential grants or subsidies to provide incentives for companies to invest in the area, is needed,” the manifesto stated.

Housing minister Lee Rowley recently pledged to undertake “detailed work” with modular builders following a string of setbacks for the sector.

The CIOB also called for moves such as business rate relief to encourage “geographical clustering” of construction businesses.

Steps must be taken to tackle delays in settling invoices, including consideration of extending the Prompt Payment Code to the private sector, the CIOB urged.

It also demanded a “wholesale review” of the way apprenticeships are funded and delivered.

CIOB chief executive Caroline Gumble said: “Now the date for the general election has been confirmed, we’ve launched our manifesto so we can engage with prospective parliamentary candidates while they’re developing their own campaigns.

“Candidates come from a range of backgrounds and don’t always understand the complexities and importance of the built environment sector, which is a major economic driver, so it’s down to us all as the experts to educate them.

“I strongly encourage CIOB members to use this manifesto and our online resources to engage with those standing for election in the constituencies they live and work in to help push construction further up the political agenda.”

The CIOB’s demands of the next government:

  • Develop and implement a green-skills fund
  • Adapt building regulations to include whole-life carbon assessments
  • Develop and implement a national retrofit strategy
  • Review the voluntary status of consumer codes for new-build housing
  • Provide fairer opportunities for SME housebuilders
  • Reform the current land-value system
  • Tackle the late-payment culture
  • Develop and implement a strategy for modern methods of construction
  • Use geographical clustering to level up the UK
  • Include equality, diversity and inclusion commitments in public sector contracts
  • Overhaul the Apprenticeship Levy
  • Introduce a built-environment GCSE

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