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, says the Federation of Master Builders (FMB) in response to the 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.”