Labour impressed the construction industry with their pledge to link its skills and housing policy as part of their strategy for the industry. Alongside this, the party also claimed to build a million new homes as well. 100,000 of which being “affordable” council homes for sale and rent.
However, the main thing that has caught the eye of construction workers though is apparently the way in which they will use housebuilding to tackle the industry skills shortage. The manifesto describes: “we will make the building of new homes, including council homes, a priority through our National Transformation Fund, as part of a joined-up industrial and skills strategy that ensures a vibrant construction sector with a skilled workforce and rights at work.”
The Federation of Master Builder’s has praised this plan too. They claimed that it is the “right approach for a post-Brexit UK.”
The federation’s chief executive stated: “Labour’s pledge to integrate housing and skills policy is the right approach to tackling two of the key challenges we face in the building industry.”
“We are building too few homes in every part of the UK and this problem is exacerbated by the construction skills shortage.”
Alongside this, the Federation also praised Labour’s “clear focus on apprenticeships and high-quality training”, as well. They continued: “the commitment to doubling the number of NVQ Level 3 apprenticeships by 2020 will be well-received by small construction firms.”
“The sense of a decline in the standard of construction apprenticeships has reduced the attractiveness of taking on apprentices for many SMEs.”
However, one thing that was severely overlooked within the Labour manifesto was the ability to identify the obstacles that face small and medium enterprises within the industry. The federation described: “the NFB and the HBA are disappointed that the Labour manifesto fails to mention reform of the planning process.”
“The planning system is a major barrier to growth for many construction businesses.”
“Small and medium-sized builders are the key to addressing the construction industry’s long-term problems.”
“The next government should help create a market where the best businesses succeed, no matter what their size.”
“In short, we need a government that believes in Britain’s SMEs.”
So what do you think of this? Is a Labour government the best things for small businesses within the industry? Let us know what you think in the comments below.