Actis backs calls for sector to ‘move out of the dark ages’

Credit@: Adobe Stock / LIGHTFIELD STUDIOS
Credit@: Adobe Stock / LIGHTFIELD STUDIOS

Insulation specialist Actis has backed calls to move construction ‘out of the dark ages’ if it is to address the housing crisis and tackle the skills shortage.

Government Modern Methods of Construction (MMC) champion Mark Farmer has issued a warning, five years after his Modernise or Die review, which called for radical industry change was published.

He said the current lorry driver crisis echoes the issues affecting the construction industry, suggesting that both sectors are suffering from an ageing workforce, a struggle to recruit new employees, a dependence on non-UK workers, and an unregulated labour market.

Mark’s warning was supported by Ray O’Rourke, chief executive of Laing O’Rourke, who called on the industry to move out of the dark ages and embrace offsite construction.

Moreover, Mark Cooper, sales director of Actis UK and Ireland, welcomed the calls for change, saying: “The speed with which such homes can be built has two-fold benefits – accelerating the delivery of much-needed new homes, while at the same time addressing the shortage of skilled workers to build them.

“Additionally, quality is far better controlled, and they can be thermally superb, cutting carbon emissions and saving money and resources.

“The industry should be putting itself on a crisis footing. It is now facing the risk of a chaotic period characterised by resource scarcity, price volatility, safety and quality problems and business models that are no longer fit for purpose set against a backdrop of regulatory reform, where the technical bar is rightly being raised in terms of things such as building safety and carbon.

“My 2016 predictions on the likely scale and speed of decline in the construction labour force were seen as fairly dramatic at the time, but it now appears they will likely be proven to have been under-estimated.”

>> You can read more about the skills shortage here.