Welcome to this, our October newsletter. Our articles this month cover the following:
This month saw the publication by the Construction Leadership Council of a report by Mark Farmer on the UK Construction Labour Model. The report was commissioned by the government due to the skills shortage in the UK construction industry. The Farmer contribution marks an addition to a long list of reports on deficiencies in the UK construction industry. As could be expected, the report is a sober read. One statistic which caught the attention is that productivity in construction measured in 2015 has remained flat since 1994 levels whereas output per hour worked in the manufacturing sector grew by 50% in the same period. The recommendations equally have a familiar look to them. They include calls for increasing use of pre-manufactured approaches, increased levels of R&D investment and government led initiatives to stimulate a pipeline of work. Farmer also calls for training courses to be more relevant to a digitally enabled world and for the right business models are evolved with appropriate contractual frameworks.
The dire warnings in the Farmer report and market uncertainty may have accounted for the somewhat subdued atmosphere on the first day of UK Construction Week 2016 which took place at the National Exhibition Centre between 18 and 20 October. The range and quality of innovation shown by many of the 650 exhibitors were, however, encouraging and offered some hope until the next exhibition.
The BPE Construction & Engineering Team