Review calls for industry modernisation


""An independent review which aims to find solutions to the construction industry’s structural problems has been published today. 

The Farmer Review, led by Mark Farmer, examines the construction labour model and suggests it has given rise to underinvestment in training and development, a lack of innovation, and issues in raising productivity.

It concludes that workforce attrition, exacerbated by an ageing workforce, means that there is now a fundamental imperative for change.

The report challenges the sector to do things differently – to reduce the reliance on building in the same way that we have for decades, with its heavy demand for on-site labour.

This is a challenge for all stakeholders – the industry, its clients, and government. The report’s recommendations focus on finding and unlocking the drivers of change, including action to support predictability of demand, and on leadership to own the change.

This includes specific recommendations for the reform of CITB, to better align our grant funding to the future skills needs of employers and create a stronger image of the built environment, especially in schools.

Stephen Radley, Director of Policy at CITB, said: “The Farmer Review sets out a compelling vision of how our industry needs to change and what CITB can do to support it.

“We are already reforming CITB to give it a laser-like focus on careers, qualifications and standards and training and development, backed by a revamped grants scheme. Employers have the opportunity to create a more profitable, innovation and sustainable construction industry and we look forward to helping them to do this.”    

Chair of the Leadership Council Andrew Wolstenholme said: “The Construction Leadership Council is hugely grateful for the detailed insight Mark Farmer has brought to this task. The construction sector plays an important role in the UK’s economic success.

“There never has been a better time to invest in infrastructure but it is clear we have reached a tipping point and that construction cannot go on as we are if we are to deliver the essential homes and infrastructure that the UK needs.”

Industry Minister Jesse Norman said: “This Government is determined to support more housebuilding, more quickly and in the places people want to live. Given the launch of the £3 billion Home Building Fund, Mark Farmer’s important review in this vital sector is very timely. It makes a strong case for change in the industry, identifies areas where it needs to improve, and sets out areas for action. We will now carefully consider his recommendations.” 

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BDC 311 : Dec 2023