To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what assessment he has made of the impact of skills shortages in the construction industry on progress in delivering the Government's house building and infrastructure programmes.
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what steps the Government is taking to support recruitment to the construction industry in response to skills shortages in that sector.
The Government continues to review matters related to skills on a regular basis. At the current time, output in the construction sector, with regard to Government-funded infrastructure or housing projects, continues to be solid. Statistics from the Office for National Statistics show that construction output recovered quickly during 2020, and has been at a similar level to that before the pandemic since March 2021. There is also a strong pipeline of demand. Between Q2 2020, and Q2 2021, orders for new housing increased by 154%, and for infrastructure by 98%.
The Government is working closely with the construction industry to ensure that it can attract, retain and develop the skilled workforce it needs for the future. This includes the introduction of a Talent Retention Scheme, which is now being taken forward by industry, to help workers move into construction jobs; and work with the Construction Industry Training Board and the Construction Leadership Council (CLC) to ensure effective and appropriate support for skills development.