Last week, 20 construction leaders met Skills Minister, Matt Hancock and the Government’s construction adviser, Peter Hansford, at 11 Downing Street to discuss a new ten-point plan to reinvigorate the construction industry – and ‘repair’ is looking to be a major part of the strategy.
Developed under the sector’s ‘Construction4Growth’ (C4G) campaign, the plan, which aims to secure close collaboration between the construction industry and Government would help lead the UK out of recession and back into growth; plus provide youngsters with a lifelong skill and a bright future, as well as help the environment while reducing the number of people out of work.
Indeed, the Construction 4 Growth website states “spending £100m on repairs and maintenance could generate 3200 jobs, and boost local economies.”
Providing solutions to deliver changes that will have the biggest and most positive impact on the UK economy is central to the plan. These include investing quickly in shovel-ready projects, such as the #repair and maintenance of roads, housing, schools and hospitals.
With unemployment benefits and lost tax revenue for the 150,000 construction workers that are claiming Job Seekers Allowance equating to £2.1bn, it is essential that the Government tries to boost the industry, at a time when the overstretched taxpayer is struggling hard to bring down our growing deficit.
Generally, though, the number of people in work has reached its highest level for more than 40 years, with almost 30million adults in a job by the end of November – up by more than half a million on the previous year.
The figure is the highest since records began in 1971, despite the damage done to labour markets by the double-dip recession. The fall in unemployment came as private-sector job gains outstripped cuts in public-sector employment – there were 128,000 fewer state workers and 627,000 more private ones.
In another encouraging sign of life for the economy, long-term unemployment has fallen – down by 10,000 for those out of work for more than two years, to 434,000, and by 5,000 for people unemployed for at least a year, to 892,000.
But the number of 16 to 24-year-olds out of work increased by 1,000 to 957,000, the first rise since last summer. This, of course, is disturbing news, but one which company’s such as ours can help change. Coupled with support from the Government, and construction industry leaders, Plastic Surgeon is ready to help repair the construction industry, and get our youngsters working.