Increased construction output in March is welcome but needs to be sustained with a long-term National Retrofit Strategy to green our homes if the Government is to hit its climate change targets, following construction PMI data published today.

Brian Berry, Chief Executive of the FMB, said: “It’s welcome news to see construction activity recovering in March after a particularly difficult winter for many local builders. Unfortunately, the premature closure of the Green Homes Grant Scheme last month has left many small builders in the repair, maintenance and improvement sector out of pocket. If the Government is serious about achieving net zero carbon emissions by 2050, a long-term National Retrofit Strategy is needed that can support builders to install green measures at the scale and pace required, while also stimulating local economies and creating jobs.”

Berry concluded: “The construction skills shortage must be addressed if we are to build back better and greener. Training 71% of construction apprentices, local builders are key to this effort but the Government must bring forward their proposals for local skills plans and college business centres, so that builders are supported to train.”

Notes to editors

The Federation of Master Builders (FMB) is the largest trade association in the UK construction industry representing thousands of firms in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. Established in 1941 to protect the interests of small and medium-sized (SME) construction firms, the FMB is independent and non-profit making, lobbying for members’ interests at both the national and local level.

The FMB is a source of knowledge, professional advice and support for its members, providing a range of modern and relevant business building services to help them succeed. The FMB is committed to raising quality in the construction industry and offers a free Find a Builder service to consumers.