John Morgan and Andy Mitchell among those calling for government intervention

The UK may be unable to meet its net zero targets because of construction skills shortages, according to the Institute for Public Policy Research.


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The CLC is working on a green skills plan

A letter signed by leading construction industry figures today has called on chancellor Rishi Sunak to support the sector to get the green skills it needs to play a leading role in the green recovery and the drive to net zero.

The letter, whose signatories include CLC chair Andy Mitchell, Morgan Sindall chief executive John Morgan and Mace boss Mark Reynolds, has warned that the UK’s failing skills system threatens to delay the ability of the UK to deliver a zero-carbon economy.

Other signatories include trade bodies such as the Federation of Master Builders, the Chartered Institute of Builders, British Property Federation and the Construction Industry Training Board.

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Industry leaders have called on the government to consider proposals developed by the Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR) think tank.

In a new report, the think tank warned that up to 750,000 construction workers could retire or are on the verge of retiring over the next 15 years and not enough is being done to replace those workers, with just 20% of construction workers currently aged under 30.

The IPPR proposals include increasing funding for further education and expanding apprenticeships, as well creating a new National Infrastructure and Construction Skills Demand Pipeline at the Infrastructure and Projects Authority.

Other recommendations include ensuring investment in skills is accounted for in budgets for government-funded infrastructure projects and legislating to improve pay and conditions for workers in the sector, to make construction careers more attractive to jobseekers.

The letter also said the construction sector must make substantial changes to achieve net zero by 2050. The CLC is in the process of porducing an operational net-zero skills strategy.

Letter signatories

  • Andy Mitchell, chief executive, Tideway
  • Caroline Gumble, chief executive, The Chartered Institute of Building
  • David Pinder, chairman Mixergy and chair Green Construction Board
  • Darren White, head of sustainability, Tideway
  • Eibhlin Flynn, head of client relations & business development at Danny Sullivan Group
  • Jean Duprez, director of Duprez Consulting and chair of the CIOB Business Development Board
  • John Morgan, chief executive, Morgan Sindall
  • Kevin McLoughlin, chief executive, K&M Painting and Decorating
  • Leonie Cooper, London Assembly member
  • Lord Anthony Young of Norwood Green
  • Madalina Ursu, head of infrastructure, Greater London Authority
  • Mark Farmer, chief executive, Cast Consultancy
  • Mark Reynolds, chief executive, Mace
  • Monica Lobo, skills and employment manager, Tideway
  • Sarah Beale, chief executive, Construction Industry Training Board
  • Sarah Mukherjee, chief executive, Institute for Environmental Management & Assessment
  • Stephen Fox, former chief executive Bam Nuttall & non-exec director Barhale
  • The British Property Federation
  • The Collaborative Client Forum
  • The Construction Clients Leadership Group
  • The Federation of Master Builders