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Last edited 06 Jan 2021
In July 2013, the Government published: Construction 2025, Industrial Strategy: government and industry in partnership, setting out its long-term vision for ‘…how industry and Government will work together to put Britain at the forefront of global construction…’
The construction industry is seen as crucial to the long-term success of the UK economy as it includes more than 280,000 businesses and accounts for 3 million jobs (10% of total UK employment) (ref. BIS analysis of Labour Force Survey micro-data).
The report builds on some of the themes raised in the Latham report and Egan report, and the strategies set out the in the 2011 Government Construction Strategy, which called for ‘...a profound change in the relationship between public authorities and the construction industry to ensure the Government consistently gets a good deal and the country gets the social and economic infrastructure it needs for the long-term…'
It rather ambitiously proposes:
- 33% reduction in the initial cost of construction and the whole-life costs of built assets.
- 50% reduction in the overall time, from inception to completion, for newbuild and refurbished assets.
- 50% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions in the built environment.
- 50% reduction in the trade gap between total exports and total imports for construction products and materials.
- PEOPLE: An industry that is known for its talented and diverse workforce.
- SMART: An industry that is efficient and technologically advanced.
- SUSTAINABLE: An industry that leads the world in low-carbon and green construction exports.
- GROWTH: An industry that drives growth across the entire economy.
- LEADERSHIP: An industry with clear leadership from a Construction Leadership Council.
It then makes the following commitments:
- Build the UK’s competitive advantage in smart construction and digital design through the Digital Built Britain agenda.
- Develop market and technology based plans to secure the jobs and growth opportunities from driving carbon out of the built environment, led by the Green Construction Board.
- Identify global trade opportunities for UK professional services, contracting and product manufacturing, develop partnerships and promote UK construction through the GREAT brand.
- Improve the image of the industry by inspiring young people and through a coordinated approach to health and safety and improving performance in the domestic repair and maintenance market.
- Engage with bodies across the industry to ensure that capability and capacity issues in construction are addressed in a strategic manner.
- Develop and refine the pipeline of future work opportunities and make it more useable for all construction businesses.
- Drive procurement efficiency and explore options for further efficiency gains in the procurement process, led by the Government Construction Board and the IUK (Infrastructure UK, now the Infrastructure and Projects Authority) Client Group.
- Create conditions for construction supply chains to thrive by addressing access to finance and payment practices.
- Work with academic and research communities to bring forward more research, development and demonstration to the wider industry and work to remove barriers to innovation.
- Lead the transformation of the industry through the new Construction Leadership Council, with actions owned and delivered by industry bodies.
An action plan is set out in Annex B of the report that will continue to be updated and supplemented as the strategy is taken forward. However, the plan is a little vague in terms of detail and is described as ‘tactical rather than strategic’.
Coming so soon after the Government Construction Strategy, and proposing such ambitious targets, there is some scepticism that the vision is achievable. There have been a great number of reports about the construction industry, and numerous attempts to improve efficiency. Despite this, the perception persists that the industry is wasteful. It might be inferred from this either that; under the circumstances the industry operates more effectively than it appears from the outside; expectations are unrealistic; or recommendations have been consistently poorly implemented.
The Construction Leadership Council (CLC) was established to oversee implementation of Construction 2025. This is an industry / government council jointly chaired by the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) and an industry representative (at present Sir David Higgins, Chief Executive of Network Rail). See Construction Leadership Council for more information.
It is not entirely clear what the relationship is between the Government Construction Strategy and Construction 2025, or between the Government Construction Board (which oversees the Government Construction Strategy) and the CLC. Construction 2025 simply states that one of its objectives is to “Drive procurement efficiency and explore options for further efficiency gains in the procurement process, led by the Government Construction Board and the IUK Client Group.”
At the September 2015 Construction Industry Summit, Chief construction adviser Peter Hansford, announced that a new government construction strategy for 2015-20 would be published in the following months. Construction Manager Magazine suggested that the strategy would map the route to Level 3 BIM and Digital Built Britain, and focus the industry on improving diversity.
NB: The government's commitment to the objectives set out in Construction 2025 was re-affirmed in a statement about the Construction sector deal made by Business Secretary Greg Clark on 29 November 2017.
In July 2020, The Construction Index reported that the industry had failed in its target to reduce the balance of trade deficit in building materials and components, and that, in fact, ONS figures revealed that the trade deficit had not halved but had widened from £6bn to more than £10bn. It went on to state in relation to the other Construction 2025 targets: "Of these specific goals, only the emissions target currently seems achievable. And it might be interesting to know to what extent that is the result of CLC actions and to what extent it is the result of legislation emanating from Brussels." Ref https://www.theconstructionindex.co.uk/news/view/uk-flops-in-quest-for-construction-2025-trade-targets
 Related articles on Designing Buildings Wiki
- Banwell Report.
- Building Information Modelling.
- Building our Industrial Strategy: green paper.
- Chief construction adviser.
- Composition of UK construction industry 2013.
- Construction Industry Council.
- Construction Leadership Council.
- Construction market forecast 2015 to 2024.
- Construction minister.
- Construction output.
- Construction sector deal.
- Construction Sector Deal launch.
- Digital Built Britain.
- Diversity in the construction industry.
- Egan Report.
- Ethics in construction.
- Fragmentation of the UK construction industry.
- Global construction market projections from 2020 to 2030.
- Government Construction and Infrastructure Pipelines.
- Government Construction Strategy.
- Government Construction Board.
- Government departments responsibility for construction.
- Government publishes UK infrastructure strategy.
- Housing minister.
- Industrial Strategy: building a Britain fit for the future.
- Latham Report.
- List of construction industry reports through history.
- Modern Built Environment Knowledge Transfer Network.
- National Infrastructure Plan.
- National Needs Assessment NNA.
- National Platform for the Built Environment.
- Public procurement.
- Smart construction.
- The benefits of e-procurement in construction.
- Transforming Infrastructure Performance.
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