Last reviewed 14 October 2021

The CBI has called for reforms outlined in the 2020 Construction Playbook to be accelerated to enable the construction sector to fulfil its unique role in bringing “build back better” aspirations to life.

It recognises that the construction industry — which had already endured mixed financial fortunes pre-Covid — has been drastically and permanently altered by the pandemic, and now sees spiralling costs and labour shortages adding further pressures.

However, the CBI believes that an accelerated rollout of Playbook rules and enforcement can help ensure the sector remains robust to drive forward the success of the economy and develop vibrant, prosperous places across the country.

Gregor Craig, chairman of the CBI Construction Council and President & CEO of Skanska UK, said: “The construction industry’s make-or-break role in building the foundations of a net-zero economy by 2050 means we must accelerate our response to the climate imperative.”

The CBI suggests that the Chancellor should use the upcoming Comprehensive Spending Review to ensure rapid rollout of public sector construction training materials and delivery.

It also wants public sector contracting authorities to commit to working alongside suppliers to manage risks more equitably while the Cabinet Office should be given more powers to identify and act on businesses’ reports of poor procurement practices.

Matthew Fell, CBI Chief Policy Director, said: “The industry’s response to the coronavirus pandemic shows what is possible when a sector pulls together in the same direction. A similar accord between the private sector and Government is needed now.

“If UK construction is to develop strong, new foundations on which to build back better and construct the future the country needs,” he concluded, “it must seize this moment to change behaviours once and for all.”