How the Government is addressing the productivity problem
The Government has recognised the sluggish levels of productivity growth in the UK, which is why it’s placing productivity at the heart of its political agenda. However the government and the construction industry seem to have different perspectives on the levels of productivity and priorities for improvement.
The biggest difference between attitudes is related to investment, which has significantly more support from MPs than the construction industry itself.
The economic indicators point to a challenging 2018 for Britain in the lead up to Brexit in 2019. The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) forecasts the UK’s GDP will grow by only 1% (ideal growth rate being 2-3%) in 2018. Construction, which accounts for around 6.7% of the UK economy and employs approximately 2.9 million (10%) people, therefore, has never been more critical to UK plc’s fortunes.
While the industry sector doesn’t see investment as one of the most important factors to improve its productivity levels, research shows different results, revealing that the major challenges within the sector actually come out of its traditional business models that have changed very little over the years, as well as lack of investment in skills, technology, systems and processes.
The government is recognising those with ambitious plans for the future, backed by the fact that by simply boosting construction productivity could deliver £15 billion savings every year. Some example initiatives construction business can take advantage of include:
- New £600 billion infrastructure investment pipeline (backed by both government and private investors) and plans to boost construction productivity were published in December 2017
- The Government has pledged £170 million investment in the ‘Transforming Construction’ programme with industry match-funding through £250 million investment
- Innovative UK and the UK Government Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy have formed a partnership to deliver the next phase of digitalisation in the construction sector
The support offered through these government initiatives is, and will continue to be, a major catalyst for further uptake of mobile digital solutions, with data analytics capability, in the UK and to raise productivity there.