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Plans Revealed To Revamp Infrastructure & Boost Construction Sector Productivity
The Department for Transport has revealed innovative new plans to help revolutionise infrastructure in the UK and boost the construction industry’s productivity levels – a move that is hoped will save up to £15 billion each year.
A £600 billion infrastructure investment pipeline has been published as part of the Transforming Infrastructure Performance programme, helping to give certainty to investors and boost confidence in the sector so as to support further investment in the future.
The programme features ambitious plans to change delivery of infrastructure in the long term, using governmental influence to roll out more modern methods of construction so the country can become a world leader where high-tech building is concerned.
Methods like offsite manufacturing, which involves the part-construction of projects before being put together on location, can reduce waste by 90 per cent and increase delivery times by more than 60 per cent. So, for example, a school that would usually take 12 months to build could be finished in just over four.
Chris Grayling, transport secretary, explained that projects like the Ordsall Chord and Crossrail, as well as the massive investments that have thus far been made in the road network around the country, show that the UK can indeed deliver both on budget and on time. But there is still room for improvement, he went on to say, adding that this new strategy details how the government intends to do better in the future.
Chief executive of the Infrastructure and Projects Authority (IPA) Tony Meggs made further comments, saying: “Publishing our Transforming Infrastructure Performance (TIP) programme today demonstrates our commitment to tackling the annual £15 billion productivity gap in construction. The IPA has a significant role to play in helping to create a more productive and innovative sector.
“We want to maintain confidence in the sector and will work alongside industry, using our purchasing power to drive the adoption of modern methods of construction in both new and existing infrastructure. The scale of ambition is great but by aligning our initiatives we can work with industry to deliver transformation for the sector.”
However, with Brexit still looming over us like the sword of Damocles, it remains to be seen what impact this will have on the construction sector now and in the future once we’ve left the EU. There is much in the news at the moment about the effect that losing access to skilled EU employees could have on the industry, which is already facing a serious skills shortage.
It may well be that there isn’t enough time to train up a new workforce to counteract the effects of in-demand workers leaving the UK. Leading players in the industry, including the Home Builders Federation, Build UK and the National Federation of Builders, have now urged the government to come up with a transitional plan that will allow companies to continue making use of labour markets in Europe once Brexit has finally taken place.
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