BOOSTING PRODUCTIVITY in the construction sector could generate £45bn of additional added value each year for the UK, equivalent to 2% of UK GDP or the cost of building 220,000 houses a year.
That’s one of the findings of a report published by the Construction Leadership Council (CLC).
The report explores the potential for the UK industry to transform its productivity, identifying three areas where billions of pounds of savings could be made, or additional value generated for the UK economy.
The average productivity per construction worker lags 13.5% behind the wider economy. The report suggests measures – some already being delivered – could boost productivity by up to 25%.
Three key areas identified by the report for boosting construction productivity are:
Better preparation: creating a productive environment to develop and deliver projects; through reforming the planning process for housing and major infrastructure projects; showing consistent leadership in project scope, creating more effective delivery teams, improving supply chain relationships and more collaborative working during the design process; delivering a potential 17% productivity boost and £30bn in annual value added.
Better building: delivering construction more productively; through maximising the use of MMC, supporting workers in the industry to re-skill and extending their careers; and reducing re-work through the elimination of errors; delivering a potential 7% productivity boost and £12.7bn in annual value added.
Better business: supporting our industry to do business more productively; through supporting digital investment for SMEs, better utilisation of capital and improved data on productivity at a sector level; delivering a potential 2% productivity boost and £2.8bn in annual value added.
Richard Robinson, CLC Deputy Chair and CEO of AtkinsRéalis, said: “Improving the construction industry’s productivity offers the UK one of our largest economic opportunities. If we can build faster, at a reduced cost, we can spur growth and job creation across the UK – delivering the places and infrastructure our communities want and our economy needs without delay.
“At a time when construction costs and the complexities of planning policy are rightly under scrutiny within the UK, this latest report from the CLC lays out the scale of the opportunity and sets out a roadmap to partner with Government to help us realise it.
“This isn’t just something that benefits our industry – it’s something that could be transformative for the entire country.”
Recommedations for Industry
The report’s recommendations for industry and government, many of which are built on already existing programmes, include:
Allow industry to pay increased planning fees in return for guaranteed standards of performance, learning from the best of the current planning authorities who already deliver efficiently and digitally
Consistent Leadership in Infrastructure Planning
Adopt the National Infrastructure Commission recommendations for accelerating the planning process for Nationally Significant Infrastructure Projects.
Supply Chain Development
Work with the industry for widespread fair and balanced commercial terms and payment practices.
Explore Licensing Domestic Builders
Gather evidence to understand the link between licensing domestic builders to enhance quality and productivity and if sufficient, introduce licensing.
Set out Policy and Regulatory Roadmap on Retrofit
To accelerate domestic retrofit across UK housing stock.
The measures in the report will be built into the existing CLC delivery programmes.
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