Government measures to unlock the full potential of local builders would maximise the construction sector’s economic recovery and support the country’s transition to net zero, says the Federation of Master Builders (FMB) in response to construction PMI data published today.

Brian Berry, Chief Executive of the FMB, said: “It is very positive news that construction remains resilient after the Covid-19 pandemic, but concerns in the PMI data about record high material prices reflect the very real worries of our members. With residential construction activity lagging behind other sectors, I urge the Government to use the re-set moment of next week’s Queen’s Speech to lay out a programme that backs Britain’s builders, with a renewed focus on enabling construction SMEs, who make up 99% of the construction industry, to thrive in what is an increasingly costly market.”

Berry continued: “The Government needs to set out a clear plan about how to make our existing homes greener and more energy efficient in order to achieve net zero by 2050. Such a plan would be a boost to local trades who are best placed to retrofit our homes. To make a success of this ‘green revolution’, serious consideration needs to be given to how we solve the industry’s skills shortage and ensure that construction is seen as an attractive and fulfilling career for both school leavers and those looking to re-skill. As SMEs train 71% of construction apprentices, they must be at the heart of these conversations.”