Earlier this year, the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy consulted businesses across the country on its plans to establish a long term ‘Industrial Strategy’. The ambition was clear: it was time to get Britain moving again and improving how we dealt with (and mend) our under-productive economy.
At the time we welcomed the Strategy. However, at the same time we stressed that plans must take into account the dire need to upgrade the UK’s housing infrastructure.
Since then, much has changed. The Department for Communities and Local Government published a Housing White Paper, promising to support new entrants into the housebuilding sector with action on the finance and land markets. Then, the Autumn Budget this month promised even greater intervention, putting more money in the pot for housing over the next decade.
With this sort of backing behind it, we are pleased to see the long-awaited Industrial Strategy taking shape this week, and identifying construction as one of four industries of strategic importance.
Specifically, the government’s strategy will focus on upskilling construction workers. £34m of the government’s £64m budget for retraining will be allocated, specifically, to equipping builders with the skills they need to deliver more homes across the country.
Not only is this a great initiative that meshes very well with the vision the LendInvest Property Development Academy has made its mission to achieve in the last year. Add to that, it is positive to see that the government’s commitment to solving the housing crisis extends further than the Department for Communities and Local Government. Housing isn’t a one-dimensional issue, nor can it be a priority for just one department. Cross-departmental collaboration will be a welcome step forward.