March Construction Round-up

March has been an interesting month for the construction industry. The top news story this month comes with UK Prime Minister, Theresa May initiating the process for the UK to leave the EU. March also saw new highway schemes budget announced. Are schoolchildren getting enough career information on construction jobs? Keep reading for the latest insights

‘No turning back’ on Brexit as Article 50 triggered

The 29th of March 2017 saw British Prime Minister Theresa May sign the letter confirming the UK’s departure from the EU.  A noteworthy day for British politics, to which Theresa May commented “an historic moment from which there can be no turning back”.  Talks are set to begin, with areas such as trade, expats, Brexit bill and security up for discussion.  The outcome of these talks will ultimately have a huge (hopefully positive) impact on the construction industry. Read how the events unfolded via BBC News here.

Whistle-blowers offered £100,000 reward

The Competition and Markets Authority announced a new campaign this month entitled ‘cracking down on cartels’. The campaign promotes that whistle-blowers could be offered up to £100,000 for exposing price fixing in construction. The action applies to all industries, however recent research by the cartel-busting authority highlighted that construction is most at risk to anti-competitive behaviour. Read the full story here via Construction Enquirer.

First £220m budget highways schemes unveiled

In March, Transport Secretary Chris Grayling revealed a £220m budget highway schemes plan. It has been suggested that the funding will go towards creating a new junction on the M11 to provide another route to Harlow. This will cut journey times and unlock housing developments. A further £30m is set to be spent on two large projects which will create an unbroken stretch of dual carriageway on the A69 between Hexham and Newcastle. Details of how the remainder of the budget is to be spent is set to be revealed at a later date.

Schoolchildren lack career information on construction

According to research by The House Builder Magazine, half of schoolchildren have never received any information on possible jobs in construction by teachers or career advisers. Residential and commercial building firm Redrow commented, “The skills gap is not something construction companies and house builders can solve independently. Collaboration and a fresh mentality of ‘sharing what works’ is key to overcoming the skills barrier.” Read the full story here.