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

The government continues to show its support for construction with minister for business and industry Nadhim Zahawi hosting his regular call with industry yesterday for a wide-ranging discussion. Responding to a question from Build UK Chief Executive Suzannah Nichol, the minister confirmed his commitment to developing a strong partnership with the sector and improving the delivery of infrastructure projects across the UK, saying: “trust and accountability are key and we have plans to spend £640bn on construction projects over the next five years”.

In support of its statement on payment and contracts, the Construction Leadership Council (CLC) has published three new guidance documents to help companies manage the impact of covid-19 within their contracts:

The government has updated its guidance on apprenticeships confirming:

  • As of 13 July 2020, providers can welcome back apprentices aged 19+ into educational settings, in addition to 16 – 19 year olds
  • Face-to-face training can be reintroduced for apprentices aged 19+ where this can be safely accommodated
  • The flexibility to suspend functional skills for level 2 apprentices has been extended until 31 December 2020
  • Where an apprentice has been made redundant but is continuing their apprenticeship study, they can claim Universal Credit (UC) if they satisfy the eligibility criteria.

CITB has confirmed that the National Construction Colleges at Bircham Newton, Erith and Kings Norton have reopened and are taking a phased approach to resuming face‐to‐face training.

Ahead of the introduction of the Plastic Packaging Tax in April 2022, the government has released a consultation document as the tax will impact a wide range of industries including construction and manufacturing. As a result of coronavirus, the consultation period has been extended by three months until 20 August 2020.

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