General Election 2024 – Association For Project Safety publishes five key asks of the new government

General Election 2024 - Association For Project Safety publishes five key asks of the new government

The Association for Project Safety has launched its Micro Manifesto ahead of the UK General Election setting out priorities. It regards these as critical for the built environment not only to raise badly needed awareness of important issues, but to reset the construction industry’s safety relationship with government.

APS wants to further build on a partnership with the next government that continues to empower the built environment to play a full role in tackling challenges particularly around in areas around building safety and mitigating risk within the building and construction industry.

Although APS’s ‘key asks’ are neither especially new nor innovative, the fact is they remain its primary messages for the 650 new Westminster parliamentarians to be elected on 4 July.

APS has identified Five ‘Asks’. They are .

1.  Training and Skills Development

Issue: There is a significant shortage of skilled workers to meet the housing targets set in all the main party manifestoes, but especially in the Tory or Labour ones, both now launched. More info here.

Solution: Invest in comprehensive training programmes, and real, meaningful apprenticeships to build a skilled workforce capable of safely constructing the planned 1.5+ million homes likely to be needed over the next five years.

APS Ask: Immediate allocation of funds and resources to training centres, and educational institutions – with enforceable output targets.

2.  Planned and Selective Immigration (Short Term)

Issue: Our members tell us that the current domestic workforce is insufficient to meet critical housing targets in the short term.

Solution: Implement a planned and selective immigration policy to attract skilled workers from abroad similar to the Australian model. This would be a short-term tactic for five years.

APS Ask: Fast-track visa processes for skilled immigrants with proven experience and identifiable, ‘provable’ skills in the construction sector.

3.  Long-Term Construction Workforce Development

Issue: Many UK college/university training programmes are simply insufficient to meet the demand for skilled workers.

Solution: Enhance and expand apprenticeship programmes to ensure a steady pipeline of skilled workers for future projects.

APS Ask: Partner with industry leaders and educational institutions to design and implement effective programmes relevant to modern methods of construction and developing technologies.

4.  Environmental Protection in Planning

Issue: Proposed fast-track planning on brownfield sites and abandonment of nutrient neutrality pose environmental risks.

Solution: Ensure all planning and construction projects adhere to strict environmental protection standards to prevent uncontrolled pollutants in sensitive environments.

APS Ask: Implement rigorous environmental impact assessments for all new construction projects. Some pioneering local authorities are showing this can be done; think how much more with government backing.

5.  Retrofitting Existing Buildings

Issue: The focus on new builds overlooks the potential of retrofitting existing structures to meet modern housing needs and environmental goals.

Solution: Develop a robust and realistic retrofit programme to improve existing buildings’ energy efficiency and safety

APS Ask: Allocate funding and incentivise homeowners and businesses to retrofit their properties.

In summary, APS urges the next UK Government to prioritise the development of a skilled workforce through improved domestic training programmes and selective immigration (visa) incentives.

It is crucial to balance the push for new housing with environmental protections and retrofitting initiatives to ensure sustainable growth.

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BDC 319 : Aug 2024