“Whilst many in our industry might have hoped for a more comprehensive economic statement, it was clear from the outset that much of the chancellor’s speech would be reiterating the prime minister’s commitment to infrastructure without providing any further detail. I yet again find myself saying ‘we look forward to more detail in the autumn’.
“We are grateful for the commitment the government has made to our industry and the recognition that investing in infrastructure will help our country get back on its feet. The focus today was about short-term actions to protect jobs, this is essential but so is the strategy for the long-term recovery. We now look forward to more detail so that we can plan our contribution to that recovery. Accelerating the delivery of infrastructure projects will support the levelling up agenda, create jobs and provide a much-needed economic stimulus.
“The investment in early career development is welcome, but to secure jobs and investment in skills across the board, industry needs confidence in the future pipeline of projects. Build confidence in the work on the horizon, and the jobs, training and skills will follow.
“Whilst not mentioned in the speech, I was pleased to read of an investment, albeit small in the innovation, quality and speed of delivery that Modern Methods of Construction can bring and I look forward to see more details on both the Brownfield Housing Fund and the planning reform that is due later this summer.
“The increase in green investment is an important step forward and I’m pleased to see that the government recognises the value that a green recovery can add, creating jobs and an economic stimulus that is focused on de-carbonisation and the drive to net zero.
“Green grants to homeowners are a good idea, not only to put money in homeowner’s pockets but also to keep focus on our pledges to target the climate crisis. As the future of work moves away from the reliance on traditional office-based routine to more flexible remote working, it’s vital that we reduce the carbon emissions generated by our homes, making them as efficient andgreen as many of our traditional office buildings.
Regarding the announcement of the Construction Talent Retention Scheme, David added: “The importance of retaining talent within the construction sector has never been greater. In addition to the moral duty we have to develop the industry leaders of tomorrow, there is also a very clear business driver for nurturing the skills needed to lead the UK in a more sustainable, digitally led economic recovery. AECOM fully supports the Construction Talent Retention Scheme and looks forward to working within the collaborative framework it provides.”
David Barwell, AECOM’s Chief Executive Officer, UK and Ireland