Hannah Bardell – 2016 Parliamentary Question to the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills

The below Parliamentary question was asked by Hannah Bardell on 2016-06-03.

To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, what the major barriers his Department has identified are to improving construction productivity; and what steps the Government has taken to remove those barriers.

Nick Boles

Working with the Construction Leadership Council (CLC), the Government has identified skills, business models and innovation as the major sources of improved productivity in the sector.

To promote increased investment in skills, an Apprenticeship Levy will be introduced in April 2017 on all companies with a pay bill above £3 million per annum. The CLC Review of the Construction Labour Model launched in January 2016, is examining the labour model in construction and will recommend measures which will help lead house-building and other construction firms to ensure they have the skills, and the skills pipelines, that they need.

The Government Construction Strategy 2016-2020 published in March this year has a focus on smarter procurement, using Government’s position in the market to help drive improved productivity in construction and better value for the tax payer.

Businesses need money to invest in productivity improvement, and a review of the practice of cash retention and of the effectiveness of the legislation covering construction contracts (Part 2 of the Housing Grants, Construction and Regeneration Act 1996), is currently underway.

Digital technology has great potential to drive productivity improvement through innovation in construction, and the UK is among the world leaders thanks to the Government’s support for the use and development of Building Information Modelling. In the Budget the Government announced support for the development of the next digital standard for the construction sector, Building Information Modelling 3.