Clark made the announcement during a speech to the Northern Powerhouse Summit in Newcastle last Thursday (5th July).
The joint government-industry sector deal is worth £420m and aims to transform construction by investing in new technologies to increase productivity and build homes faster.
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The deal with the construction sector will deliver:
• £420m investment in ‘bytes and mortar smart construction’ – investment will transform construction through the use of digital building design, new manufacturing technologies and offsite manufacturing helping to cut the time taken to deliver new builds by 50%
• cheaper energy bills for families and businesses – support industrial strategy mission to halve the energy use of new builds by 2030
• 25,000 construction apprenticeship starts and 1,000 construction T Level placements by 2020 to help give young people the skills that industry needs – with £34m to scale up innovative training models across the country
• greater access to a $2.5 trillion (approximately £1.9 trillion) export market – a globally competitive sector targeting the growing international infrastructure market that is set to grow by 70% in the years ahead
Andy Chamberlain, deputy director of policy at IPSE, said that the bytes and mortar deal should give the construction sector a major boost.
“But if the government really means to deliver 1.5 million new homes by 2022, it will need to give the construction sector’s contractors and self-employed the support they need, too.
“The construction sector is the biggest engager of self-employed and contractor labour, and as a report by the CRSE has shown, they do enormous amounts to boost the productivity of the sector, providing specialised, flexible labour wherever and whenever it is needed.”