The Government’s new ‘Bytes and Mortar’ construction deal is welcome, but must be combined with greater support for construction sector contractors, IPSE (the Association of Independent Professionals and the Self-Employed) has said.
The joint Government-industry deal is worth £420 million and aims to transform construction by investing in new technologies to increase productivity and build homes faster. It is part of the Government’s ambition to build 1.5 million new homes by 2022.
Andy Chamberlain, IPSE’s Deputy Director of Policy, commented: “The ‘Bytes and Mortar’ deal should give the construction sector a major boost. But if the Government really means to deliver 1.5 million new homes by 2022, it will need to give the construction sector’s contractors and self-employed the support they need too.
“The construction sector is the biggest engager of self-employed and contractor labour, and as a report by the CRSE has shown, they do enormous amounts to boost the productivity of the sector, providing specialised, flexible labour wherever and whenever it is needed.
“The aim of the Government’s new construction deal is to cut the time taken to deliver new builds by 50 per cent. Based on the CRSE’s report it’s clear the way to do that is by investing not just in new tech, but also in the sector’s most productive workers.
“The Government should invest in self-employment by supporting high-skilled apprenticeships in construction, as well as ensuring it doesn’t roll out any prohibitive taxes or regulations that could hinder productivity in the sector.”