Build UK’s update the industry amid the covid-19 outbreak 

The Construction Leadership Council (CLC) has led the way in setting out a clear plan for the industry with the Roadmap to Recovery. From the commitment to ‘Build Build Build’, publication of the public sector pipeline, changes to the planning system and extended working hours to this week’s support for apprentices, energy-saving home improvements, and the construction talent retention scheme, the initial results of the strategy are evident.

Everyone benefits when the whole supply chain works together. If we continue to apply this principle to some of the longstanding issues that hold our industry back, we really can transform construction and deliver affordable, energy-efficient homes that people want to live in, supported by the social and economic infrastructure the country needs.

The chancellor’s ‘Plan for Jobs’, which was presented during his summer statement on Wednesday, sets out how the government will support, protect and create jobs as part of the economic recovery. We would encourage every company in construction to play its part by registering your interest for the talent retention scheme ahead of its launch later this month. Developed by the CLC in partnership with government, the scheme, which will be free to use until April 2021, is based on a proven model in the aerospace and automotive sectors which balances redundancies in companies with recruitment needs in others.

Key announcements by the chancellor included:

  • A Job Retention Bonus of £1,000 will be paid to employers who bring back furloughed staff and continue to employ them until at least January 2021
  • A £2bn Kickstart Scheme from August 2020 will subsidise new six-month work placements for people receiving Universal Credit, who are aged between 16 and 24 and at risk of long-term unemployment
  • For the next six months, employers will receive a grant of between £1,000 and £2,000 for each trainee or apprentice employed in a new role
  • From September 2020, homeowners in England will be able to apply for vouchers of up to £5,000 for energy-saving home improvements under the new £2bn Green Homes Grant scheme.

Build UK has produced a brief report summarising the approaches being taken by its contractor members with regard to the use of face coverings. Based on the assumption that a risk assessment had been undertaken and any PPE required for particular tasks provided, our snapshot survey requested members’ policies on the provision of face coverings in response to coronavirus.

In case you missed it, TrustMark has launched the Work Safe. Safe Work campaign, with the support of the CLC, to reassure homeowners that tradespeople can work safely in their homes.

Businesses should continue to follow the most up-to-date government guidance and for the latest updates please follow Build UK on Twitter and LinkedIn. If you have any construction-specific queries or feedback on what is happening within the industry, please contact Build UK