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TRA backs Mace’s call for next UK government to support the construction industry

29th November 2019

The recently published ‘A Manifesto for Construction and the Built Environment’ produced by Mace, calls for the next government to support construction in order to deliver on Construction 2025 ambitions.

It covers nine key areas which need to be addressed across construction by the next government. The Trussed Rafter Association (TRA) fully supports the proposals, with four areas that particularly resonate.

The skills shortage is a huge issue for the industry and reform of the Apprenticeship Levy is vital. This was made clear from our apprenticeship survey. The levy can prove to be too difficult to access, plus the off the job training is a disincentive for employers due to time needed away from work. It’s essential that the next government provides the necessary support to organisations to ensure that they are taking on apprentices and encouraging the next generation into the industry. Work also needs to be carried out to allow older recruits to retrain and reskill to enter our industry.

We are partnering with other trade associations, and educational partners such as Edinburgh Napier University to tackle the skills shortage within the trussed rafter and metal web joist industry. Currently we are working on a video to help encourage new people into our sector. This will be available in the New Year.

Net zero carbon emissions are something we are all working towards. The skills issue continues into this area as we need to address the low-carbon skills gap, which is essential for the UK construction industry’s progress. As we move to a decarbonised economy our employees need the skills and awareness to embrace the new technologies as they develop.

Looking again at our green credentials, both trussed rafters and metal web joists leave minimal site waste. Thanks to advanced design, minimal materials are used, and little energy is required to produce wood components. In fact, wood is the only truly sustainable material and replanting is high on the agenda for forestry suppliers who are working to be climate-positive.

Reform of the planning system is needed if the Government is going to supply the 300,000 houses needed each year. Currently supply is constrained by the planning process not freeing enough sites for the construction of housing. TRA members could easily build capacity to meet and exceed roof supply for this number of homes by producing high quality offsite components under factory conditions.

Continued investment in innovation and research and development within the construction industry is pivotal to future economic growth. In 2016 the automotive industry invested £3.3bn compared to construction which only invested £211m. Any future government needs to provide much more support, and clearer processes are needed for the adoption of innovative products into the built environment.

The TRA and its members can have a positive influence on these manifesto items.

Read the Mace manifesto here.

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Trussed Rafter Association