The past two years have seen many industry experts championing offsite construction as the UK housing crisis has become a hot topic, prompting reports and recommendations of how this can be fixed. Many have stepped forward to convey their opinion, however, offsite construction is yet to gain significant recognition or backing from the central government.
This week, ahead of the Chancellor’s budget on Wednesday, members of the London Assembly have issued a cross-party letter urging the Chancellor to consider significant funding for the offsite construction industry, so to assist in the UK housing crisis.
The letter covers concerns about the labour shortage in traditional construction methods and highlights the underproductivity of construction overall in the past decade stating “only a cutting-edge digitally led industry that combines both traditional construction and factory based precision manufacturing can support the vast demands we as a nation now require.”
The letter also adds that offsite manufacturing attracts the younger generation minimising reliance on imported skills giving the UK a further opportunity to upskill workers.
Nick Gavron, the London Assembly planning committees chair said “Offsite manufacturing allows for consistent quality, better energy efficiency and more sustainable materials. True innovation is needed in order to speed up the construction of houses which London and the country so desperately need.”
Kevin Arthur, Director at Elements Europe commented “We are delighted that these assembly members are to prompt the Chancellor ahead of this Wednesday’s budget. We stand for everything they detail in the letter and are investing in an ongoing apprenticeship scheme at our manufacturing facility to ensure we are contributing to creating skilled offsite construction workers.”
The other signatories of the letter are Labour Group leader Len Duvall, Conservative Group leader Gareth Bacon, deputy chair of the housing and planning committee Andrew Boff (Conservative), Green Party Group leader Sian Berry and Liberal Democrat London-wide assembly member Caroline Pidgeon.