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The 6 Key Construction Priorities for the UK Government

UK voters have flocked to the polls and had their say on the matters that they want their new government to address. Construction priorities are included in the list, six of which are explained below in detail.

  1. Get Inward Investment Back on Track

Although the UK has traditionally been regarded as a safe place to park international funds, two referendums and two elections in three years have created a shift in investor perspectives. A recent EY poll found that nearly 31% of global investors are predicting that the UK will continue to lose its appeal over the next three years, thanks to Brexit and similar outcomes. The new government must allocate resources to reverse this trend.

  1. Launch a New Green Deal

When the Green Deal and the Code for Sustainable Homes were scrapped in 2015, public confidence in sustainability policies was subsequently reduced. The construction industry, however, has pressed ahead with new standards, as clients are demanding energy efficiency and sustainability in their projects, so a new green deal must be one of the primary construction priorities.

  1. Dedicate Resources to Planning

Planning has long been a major source of contention for housebuilders and developers, thanks to resources challenges. The question of how increasing land values can be captured by local authorities has been addressed and the National Planning Policy Framework eliminated steps from the planning guidance, but resources remain an issue, with many councils lacking the staff to process the volume of applications. This is another area that ranks as one of the leading construction priorities.

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  1. Invest in Schools

A growing number of pupils makes government attention to an ageing schools estate extremely important. A National Audit Office report revealed that it would take over £13bn to bring English school properties up to a good standard. Many free schools lack playgrounds and sports facilities. The new government should make it clear how it plans to meet the commitment to existing schools and deliver new projects.

  1. Address Diversity and Gender Inequality

When  it comes to gender inequality, construction has a dismal record. Figures published in April confirm that the male workers earn an average of 23.3% more than women, compared to the national average of 18.1%. There are also fewer women working in the industry. Although Skanska, Aecom, and Balfour Beatty have engaged women in high-level management positions, more needs to be done, and the government will be expected to play a leading role in improving the situation.

  1. Address Mental Health Issues in Construction

One in four people employed in the construction sector has contemplated suicide due to mental health issues, but the topic is seldom discussed and over 90% of these individuals did not seek support from their employer, although mental health was the third largest reason for absence from work in the construction sector. It is hoped that with the right recognition and support from the new government, mental illness in the industry will be given the attention it needs and deserves.

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