What the Construction Industry Needs from a new Industrial Strategy

What the Construction Industry Needs from a new Industrial Strategy

27th October 2016

We’re living in uncertain times here in the UK in the wake of the shock Brexit vote at the end of June.  Pundits are predicting that the economy will tank when faced with a decrease in inward investment and for the construction industry, in particular, we’ve seen many projects put on hold.  While the outlook may seem gloomy, now is not the time for pessimism – there is plenty that can be done to make sure that we face the future with hope that all industry here in the UK will thrive in the future.  

When Theresa May took over as Prime Minister following David Cameron’s resignation, she announced that the UK government will develop an industrial strategy designed to deliver a modern, innovative and competitive economy.  A new industrial policy is sure to be affected by Britain’s decision to leave the European Economy (EU) but a strong industrial strategy will be vital if the UK wants to respond favourably to the coming changes and benefit the UK economy in the long term.  A strong industrial strategy will enable the UK to build on its national key strengths and put the UK in a strong position when it comes to taking advantage of any opportunities that may emerge during negotiations.

When it comes to devising a sound industrial strategy, consultation with the construction industry will be vital to ensure sustainable productivity across the economy as a whole, resulting in stability in the political and policy areas.  Infrastructure would represent an effective enabler in strategy across sectors as it supports productivity growth in so many other sectors in the UK.  Reliable and effective infrastructure should be the lynchpin of the government’s industrial strategy as it will stimulate the economy in the short term while supporting productivity and inspiring confidence in the long term.

The industrial strategy should also be designed to address the problem of the skills shortage that we have here in the UK.  Here at Safety Fabrications, this is an issue we have been writing about for some time.  Increasing the number of apprenticeships will be an effective method of ensuring that we have the manpower we need here in the UK for future projects – an issue that will go a long way towards attracting inward investment.  We will also need to ensure that we retain the skills of those who have migrated here in recent years and that the UK is still able to attract more talent from overseas in the future when necessary.

The new industrial strategy will also need to address the issue of the North South Divide in order to be effective and beneficial in all regions of the UK across all areas of the economy.  This will also mean taking into account the small to medium enterprises that represent the majority of businesses in all sectors here in the UK.