Goals to tackle skills shortage, climate change and health and safety

New targets to strengthen the construction industry are being launched by the government this afternoon.

The goals, which aim to address such issues as the skills shortage, climate change and health and safety, include recruiting 230,000 extra trained construction workers by 2010 and cutting work-related deaths by 10% year on year.

A quarter of construction materials must also be responsibly sourced by 2012 and all projects over £1m have biodiversity surveys, the Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform (BERR) will say.

In support of the government’s action plan, the Strategic Forum for Construction is also publishing its Construction Commitments.

The pledges cover six areas – procurement and integration; people; client leadership; sustainability; design quality; health & safety – and are accompanied by a set of aims for the industry to meet over the next four years.

Government departments, including the Ministry of Defence, Department of Health and Office of Government Commerce will sign up to them today.

Shriti Vadera, construction minister

Construction minister Shriti Vadera, who is launching the government document Strategy for Sustainable Construction, will say: “Our aim is to become a world leader in sustainable construction. An efficient construction sector is essential for the investment in infrastructure and buildings that underpins our competitiveness.

“With the current pressures such as the cost of fuel presenting an extra challenge for the industry, it is even more important that we encourage the sector to perform as efficiently and sustainably as possible.”