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 its premature closure last month, we expressed concern and disappointment at the Government’s decision to cancel the Green Homes Grant Scheme, a move that will damage the country’s progress towards net zero targets and that has left many small builders, who were seeking to contribute to the scheme, out of pocket. While we share your anger, we continue to advocate strongly for a National Retrofit Strategy.
- In response to the Scheme’s closure, we arranged a meeting with Lord Callanan, the Government Minister responsible for the policy, and we wrote to the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy. FMB Chief Executive, Brian Berry, has been invited by Labour MP Fleur Anderson, to speak at a virtual Policy Connect event on 20 April about the Green Homes Grant Scheme and what comes next. Contact Claudia Jaksch at [email protected] if you are interested in attending.
- We met with Peers for the Planet, a cross-party parliamentary grouping in the Lords seeking to heighten awareness for environmental issues. Meetings like these are intended to broaden awareness and support for the issues that matter to Master Builders, as more people talking about the issues makes positive change more likely.
- We met with the Bankers for NetZero Campaign and its Chair, Conservative MP Kevin Hollinrake, who support the need for a long-term plan for green homes to give businesses confidence in the market. This group aims to instigate industry action and policy change that accelerates the net zero transition across all sectors.
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].
Reviewing apprenticeship standards
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 in the sector.
- We, along with some FMB member companies, have been engaging with the Institute for Apprenticeships and Technical Education (IFATE) on their review of many of the apprenticeship standards in the construction sector. In these discussions, we continue to advocate for the need to maintain a high level of quality in training.
- We arranged a meeting of our Training Group to discuss apprenticeship standards in the construction sector and we continue to seek member views on this.
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 SME house builders to build more
The housing market has played an important role in the past few months of supporting the economy and protecting jobs.
- The FMB Home Builders Group met with the group developing the Future Homes Taskforce to discuss how SMEs should be supported to keep up with the pace of change of environmental regulation. The FMB Home Builders Group also met to discuss the Future Building Standards consultation, which proposes a new legal requirement for developers to mitigate the risk of overheating in homes. The FMB will be submitting a response on behalf of all members.
- FMB Chief Executive, Brian Berry, and Director of FMB Insurance, Sadie Phillips, held an introductory meeting with Natalie Elphicke MP OBE, the Independent Chairman of the New Homes Quality Board, and the interim chair of the New Homes Ombudsman. The New Homes Ombudsman will enforce higher standards in new build homes across the UK and will also provide home buyers a means of redress if they discover serious faults with a property. Housebuilders will be legally required to register with the New Homes Ombudsman.
Read more about our work to support SME house builders on our SME House Building page. Please do get in touch with [email protected] if you would like to share your views on either the Future Homes Taskforce or the New Homes Ombudsman.
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, we held a follow-up meeting with Mark Garnier MP, FMB Chief Executive Brian Berry, and Licence UK Construction Chair, Liz Peace CBE, to discuss the need for such a change and possible routes to raise awareness for the issue in and around Parliament. We continue to speak with Mark on this issue and are exploring opportunities for potential future collaboration.
Read more about our work to raise quality and standards in construction on our Licensing UK Construction page.