In an article in the Financial Times, David Cameron said: “Our focus is on updating our infrastructure. This year the UK came 28th in international rankings. In terms of future productivity, this infrastructure deficit is as serious as our budget deficit. In terms of job creation today, getting construction projects off the ground is critical.”
“Too often projects get hobbled by planning restrictions, funding blockages or regulatory burdens. So this autumn the government is on an all-out mission to unblock the system and get projects under way.”
He also said the go-ahead had been given to two power plants in the north of England – at Ferrybridge and Thorpe Marsh – which would create over 1,000 construction jobs.
Responding to the speech, Chief Executive of CITB-ConstructionSkills, Mark Farrar said:
“The news that the Government is committed to investing in infrastructure projects is good for the construction industry and it comes at a crucial time. Economic uncertainty is still a cause for concern as the industry declined by 4.1 per cent in August, compared with the same month in the previous year. If the industry’s skills base is to be protected it is imperative that the procurement of such projects happens in a timely manner.
“We are working to deliver the right skills for economic growth locally and nationally and we are urging Government to use our sector knowledge, such as our economic models and job forecasts to make sure that training is aligned to the needs of our sector.
“Recovery in the construction sector is vital to the UK economy - the industry is one of the most important in Britain as it generates almost 8 per cent of GDP and employs over 2 million people. Government investment in projects such as the new generation of nuclear power plants will provide a much needed stimulus to the construction industry to help it return to long term growth.”
In the article, Mr Cameron outlined plans for further credit easing for small businesses. CITB-ConstructionSkills said it was committed to working with industry to ensure its views were represented and to maximise the economic benefits of future Government investment.