Construction sector needs clarity to avoid industry shutdown, says NFB

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Construction sector,
© Grigor Atanasov

The construction sector ‘desperately needs’ the government to provide clarity to avoid industry shutdown, says the National Federation of Builders (NFB)

Members of the National Federation of Builders (NFB) have expressed concerns that the lack of clarity from the government is causing the construction industry to close down.

As well as reducing productivity to ensure on-site social distancing, reduced access to materials and public opinion has made it extremely difficult for industry to operate.

Richard Beresford, chief executive of the NFB, said: “Members are reporting that they are unable to get materials and deliveries from builder’s merchants, many of which have closed after struggling to get hold of stock. This a major concern, as it will cause breaches of contract, permanent supply chain loss and ongoing costs, without revenue to pay for them.

“Remobilising sites is expensive, as is mothballing them, which is why so many businesses want to continue operating but with lower productivity to ensure social distancing.”

NFB said the construction industry recognises that this is not an easy time for Government but increased sector clarity is needed, with specific reference to industries in both daily briefings and guidance.

Beresford added: “Employers are putting staff first, not just on-site but in ensuring they have a job to come back to.

“We desperately need the government to come out and talk about specific industries like construction, otherwise businesses will be forced to close, perhaps for good.”

Industry support to fight coronavirus

The UK Government has asked industry to offer support to those combatting coronavirus.

The support needed includes things like:

  • Medical testing equipment
  • Medical equipment design
  • Protective equipment for healthcare workers, such as masks, gowns and sanitiser
  • Hotel rooms
  • Transport and logistics, for moving goods or people
  • Manufacturing equipment
  • Warehouse or office space, for medical use or storage
  • Expertise or support on IT, manufacturing, construction, project management, procurement, engineering or communications
  • Social care or childcare.

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