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Farmer Review of the UK Construction Labour Model

Posted: 17th October 2016

The Construction Leadership Council has today published Mark Farmer’s independent review of the sector’s labour model.

The review examines the shortcomings of the construction labour model and shows how it has given rise to underinvestment in training and development, innovation, and in raising productivity. It concludes that workforce attrition, exacerbated by an ageing workforce, means that there is now a fundamental imperative for change.

The report challenges the sector to do things differently – to reduce the reliance on building in the same way that we have for decades, with its heavy demand for on-site labour. It makes ten headline recommendations, and these include a thorough review and reform programme at the CITB and the idea of a 0.5% “charge” on “business clients of the construction industry” if they are not contributing to skills development, offsite construction or other forms of innovation and R&D.

How - and by whom – a judgement might be made on whether private sector clients are contributing to innovation is unclear; why clients should pay to sort out the construction industry is also not made clear; and bearing in mind that a 0.5% “charge” on a £20m project is £100,000, it is also not clear whether the author has considered the impact on overseas investment in a post-Brexit climate of applying such a charge. Members’ views are welcome on these and other points in relation to the review.

To view the full report click here: Farmer Review

To view the CLC press release click here: Farmer PN 17 Oct Final