Membership of the FMB means you have a voice in Government. At both the national and devolved level, our team is speaking up for Master Builder companies on the issues that you tell us matter most to you. Here’s what we have been up to this month:
Focusing on a long-term plan to transition to net zero
Having led the development of the CLC’s National Retrofit Strategy, we continue to argue for policy measures that increase local builders’ ability to green our homes and support the UK’s transition to net zero.
- Following consultation on the National Retrofit Strategy, the FMB has now secured the support of more than 50 organisations in construction and beyond. This breadth of support demonstrates to the Government that it needs to take long-term action on green home upgrades to provide a pipeline of retrofit work for local builders and move the UK toward net zero.
- In response to the Green Homes Grant Scheme’s closure, the FMB met with Lord Callanan, the Minister responsible for the policy. We relayed the difficulties and frustrations that the Scheme’s cancellation had caused many FMB members and advocated for a longer-term approach to be taken.
- FMB Chief Executive, Brian Berry, spoke at a virtual Policy Connect event on 20 April about the Green Homes Grant Scheme and what comes next. During the event, Brian spoke of experiences FMB members had encountered following the scheme’s closure and made the case for a long-term National Retrofit Strategy.
- The FMB also recently met with Baroness Bennett, ex-leader of the Green Party, to discuss local builders’ role in energy efficiency and retrofit projects. The FMB is continuing to build awareness and support for the National Retrofit Strategy in Parliament.
Read more about our work to tackle climate change on our Retrofit and Energy Efficiency page. If you’re an FMB member with an interest in retrofit or have had experience of the Green Homes Grants Scheme, please get in contact with [email protected]
Supporting local building firms through recovery
As the largest trade association in the construction sector, the FMB proudly supports small to medium-sized (SME) construction businesses.
- We recently held a positive meeting with Construction Minister, Anne Marie Trevelyan MP. During which, the FMB updated the Minister on the latest FMB State of Trade Survey and discussed policy measures that could support construction’s recovery from the pandemic. It was additionally good to speak with the Minister on issues such as encouraging more women into construction and the need for a licence to build.
High quality skills and training for construction
On the skills and training front, we continue to make the argument for increased levels of high-quality training that can bridge the current skills shortage.
- We recently met with Apprenticeships and Skills Minister, Gillian Keegan MP, to discuss skills and training in the construction sector, the vital role local builders play in training apprentices and what more can be done to increase the number of people coming into the sector.
- The Construction Industry Training Board (CITB) exists to help the construction industry attract talent and support skills development. As CITB Consensus approaches, we have been working with FMB members to secure their views on the CITB, what they’re doing well and what could be improved.
Read more about our work on the skills environment for the construction sector on our Skills and Training page. If you’re interested in joining the FMB’s Training Group, to take part in future discussions around construction skills, please contact [email protected]
Supporting local house builders to build more
The housing market has played an important role over the past few months, supporting the economy and protecting jobs.
- We recently met with the Housing Ministers Rt Hon Christopher Pincher MP and Eddie Hughes MP to discuss what more support local builders need to deliver low carbon homes and achieve biodiversity net gain on small sites. We also raised the ongoing issue of material shortages and price increases, to highlight the growing impact it was having on the FMB membership.
- We welcomed the announcement by the Secretary of State for a new Help to Build fund that will provide finance to consumers that want to build their own homes. The FMB has been invited to contribute to a self-build action plan, led by Richard Bacon MP.
Read more about our work to support SME house builders on our SME House Building page. Please get in touch with [email protected] if you would like to share your views on SME house builders, or to register your interest in joining the FMB Home Builders Group
Progressing the case for licensing
We launched a campaign for licensing UK construction in 2018, following the publication of our report Licence to Build.
- To progress the campaign, the FMB recently met with two parliamentarians supportive of the campaign’s objective to introduce a licensed construction sector. These being:
- Baroness Bennett, the ex-leader of the Green Party, who was supportive of the ambitions of the campaign, telling the FMB that her father had been a builder in Australia – one country that has adopted a licensed construction sector.
- Helen Hayes MP, of the Labour Party, who we updated on the campaign’s progress. Hayes had spoken alongside the FMB at a previous Policy Connect event on the need remove rogue traders from the sector.
- The Licensing Task Force are set to meet again in June 2021, to assess the situation and take stock of the campaign.
Read more about our work to raise quality and standards in construction on our Licensing UK Construction page.