For years the construction industry in the UK has battled with low margins, under-performance and fragmentation. Now serious consequences are beginning to arise and if changes are not made soon, the negative outcomes will become irreversible.
In February 2016, the UK government asked the Construction Leadership Council (CLC) to look at:
- The labour model in the construction industry
- The skills, pressures and other constraints that limit housebuilding and infrastructure development in the UK
The CLC commissioned Cast Chief Executive Mark Farmer to undertake a review. Cast is a real estate and construction consultancy offering expert and independent advice to investors, developers and construction companies, meaning Farmer had the ideal experience to perform the review and write this ground-breaking report.
Modernise or Die
Farmer's 80-page report “Modernise or Die - Time to decide the industry’s future” lays out 10 recommendations to change the way the UK construction industry presently operates. It’s specifically aimed at the delivery of housing, an area of the industry that’s experiencing particular trouble.
Farmer examines the shortcomings of the construction labour model and shows how it has given rise to:
- dysfunctional training funding and delivery
- a chronic lack of investment in research, and
- a lack of development in innovation.
Farmer tells us that a greatly reduced workforce, largely made worse by an ageing population, means there’s now a crucial need for change.
Overall, the report challenges the sector to reliance on simply doing “what it has always done” for decades. A big part of this relates to a reliance on skilled on-site labour.
Farmer makes it clear that if the status quo of the construction industry is not addressed, then the UK construction market will see a drastic decline in profits and productivity.
He emphasises that he is recommending much more than a ‘must do better’ school report where everyone carries on as normal. He gives a strong warning that the industry may never recover if it continues as it is currently.
“Modernise or Die” raises crucial issues which are relevant to everyone in the construction sector.
The challenges raised within the report are challenges which we all must consider; they are red flags that have relevance for the UK construction industry but also for many developed countries, and they identify issues of importance that the cold formed steel construction sector can help to solve, and to be part of the solution.
One example of how Cold Formed Steel construction can take a leadership role to drag the UK construction industry out of crisis, is that CFS construction offers a “design-led” process using innovative design and engineering software, which in turn translates to a reduced need for skilled labour and onsite workforce.
At FRAMECAD, we believe in the power of CFS construction to change building industries all around the world.
To see further examples of how CFS construction methodologies and applications could modernise the UK construction sector, we recommend reading Chapter 1 of our eBook “The Future of Construction: The Case For Building with Cold Formed Steel”