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The Chartered Institute of Building (CIOB) has welcomed measures announced today (24 September) by Chancellor Rishi Sunak to protect jobs through the winter.
The Chancellor’s Winter Economy Plan includes a six-month
Job Support Scheme, an extension to the coronavirus loan schemes and the Self
Employment Income Support Scheme, and flexibility for VAT repayments.
The measures came as businesses operating in the built
environment continue to feel acutely the impacts of the covid-19 pandemic, with
projects facing supply chain issues, a halt to planning and inspection
timetables and new health and safety measures changing the way the industry
The CIOB welcomes the Chancellor’s announcement of these
measures, and particularly the extension of the coronavirus loan schemes, which
it said have been an important lifeline to construction businesses over the
In a statement, the CIOB said: “Small- and medium-sized
enterprises make up around 99% of the construction industry, and support for
these businesses is essential for their survival.
“Despite these challenges, construction professionals have
remained optimistic throughout the crisis and have worked hard to adapt and
operate safely to support the economy and provide vital infrastructure,
including the NHS Nightingale field hospitals. The Construction Talent
Retention Scheme is helping businesses to quickly recruit talented individuals
and reduce skills shortages within the industry.
“The construction industry has a crucial role to play in
safeguarding employment and supporting the economy through the coming winter
“While the CIOB recognises that now is not the time to
outline long-term plans, it is important that thought is given to a stable
pipeline of future work for the industry. The industry will need confidence if
it is to retain its existing skills base, as well as attract new entrants and
train or retrain them in the low carbon skills of the future.”
The CIOB has called on the government to build on its £2bn
Green Homes Grant scheme (GHG) and make progress towards its manifesto
commitment of £9.2bn to improve energy efficiency in homes, schools and
The CIOB has also recommended that the government implement
a ‘Help to Fix’ interest-free loan scheme, predicated on energy efficiency, to
improve the quality of the nation’s housing stock and encourage the uptake of
retrofit measures by homeowners not covered by the GHG. It argued that this
would help to protect existing employment and provide new, green jobs across
all regions of the UK.