Budget 2017

Construction Industry’s reaction to the Budget 2017

Since yesterday’s announcement of the Budget 2017 there has been plenty of reaction from the construction industry and its organisations. The industry has welcomed the government’s Budget commitment to T-levels as an alternative to A-levels, to encourage technical skills.

Chancellor Phillip Hammond today pledged to spend £500m per year from 2019/20 on the technical education routes recommended by the Lord Sainsbury’s panel last summer.

Brian Berry, Chief Executive of Federation of Master Builders explained “the Chancellor clearly understands that the UK won’t address the productivity challenge unless we rethink our approach to technical and vocational education. T-levels could be the answer if the genuinely rival A-levels in the eyes of parents, teachers and young people.”

Over recent years the construction industry has been suffering from a severe skills shortage which is likely to worsen once Brexit takes full effect. Martin Vella,
Managing Director of refurb and restoration specialist Pexhurst believes that T-levels could be “one of the biggest boosts to the future of the construction industry for some time.”

Vella went on to explain that, “a shortage of skilled labour is no secret and with advances in construction methods continually developing, even the existing workforce is becoming unskilled in many areas.”

“We need to see committed, engaged and technically qualified people bringing new vigor to the construction industry, along with an ingrained understanding of new technologies and working practices; T-levels could just do that.”

The new courses will not be introduced until 2019, so it will not be a quick-fix for the industry. However, for the future of the construction industry, the introduction of T-levels can only be seen as positive.

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