17 October 2016

Farmer Review Says Construction Industry Must ‘Modernise or Die’

The Government-commissioned Farmer Review into UK construction has concluded that fundamental change and modernisation is required in order to address long standing issues and ensure the future of the industry.

The Farmer Review of the UK Construction Labour Model, which was commissioned by the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) and Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) and led by Cast Chief Executive Mark Farmer, provides 10 recommendations to change the way in which the industry operates and address those problems that it feels threaten the future of construction.

The conclusions of the review, which references a lack of collaboration and dysfunctional training funding and delivery models as areas in need of improvement, echo Build UK’s assessment of the industry’s skills agenda, which has long been an area of key importance for the organisation and one that it has already taken steps to address.

Build UK Chief Executive Suzannah Nichol MBE delivered the ‘Skills Hack’ at the 2016 Construction News Summit, which resulted in an industry commitment to reform the skills system. The workshop concluded that a joined up approach is essential to addressing construction’s skills challenges, with industry representatives agreeing that changing mind-sets towards the CITB levy, implementing an in industry-wide recruitment strategy and increasing the value of apprenticeships and vocational training should represent the three key priority areas for change. Based on these priority areas, Build UK committed to working with industry bodies and employers to draft the strategies necessary to deliver such outcomes.

On the Farmer Review, Suzannah Nichol MBE said:

“The drivers for the industry to change have never been stronger, with Mark’s review framed around low margins, pressures on skills and a traditional sector competing in a digital age for talent. However I do think that the clear path outlined offers the opportunity for the whole supply chain to come together and face the challenges head on. We all need to up our game if we are to deliver the infrastructure and built assets Britain needs and Build UK is prepared to play an active role in leading change across the industry.”

The full report is available to read on the Build UK website. To find out more about the outcomes of the Construction News Skills Hack, view Suzannah Nichol MBE’s expert opinion piece in today’s Construction News.