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Industrial Strategy: expert comment on construction sector

Kersten Muller, Partner, Construction and Real Estate, Grant Thornton UK LLP, commented:

“Improving the current rate of housebuilding will require huge investment and relies heavily on having the necessary skills and workforce available. Following Brexit we have already seen an increased skills shortage in particular trades, made worse by a perception that the UK discourages migrant workers. The introduction of the new National Retraining Scheme and investment to support people looking to re-skill in construction is a welcome step and one that is needed to help future-proof the UK’s construction industry. To achieve rapid growth in our housing supply we need to see more policies that will help to upskill our existing workforce and encourage young people in to the industry.

“We know that high quality infrastructure is essential to boosting a places productivity and we welcome the adoption of a more strategic approach to help drive growth across the country. As a firm we have been exploring the links between infrastructure and housing development. Early analysis in London shows that investment in transport in particular has directly benefitted the delivery of new homes. Attrition rates dropped for larger developments, showing that housing supply was significantly boosted by investment in to transport infrastructure.”