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Government’s skills bill must work for construction if we are to build new homes and retrofit at scale

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Commenting on the Queen’s Speech, NFRC Chief Executive, James Talman said:

It is very welcome to see such a big focus on training and upskilling in the Queen’s Speech today. If we are to build, build, build, our industry needs skills, skills, skills but over half of roofing contractors are struggling to find the people they need. The government should work in collaboration with industry to ensure this bill targets funds to the right areas, aligned to the government’s commitment to build 300,000 homes a year and reach net-zero carbon emissions.

I was also pleased to see confirmation of the Building Safety Bill in the Queen’s Speech. Passing this legislation should be the highest priority for government. In particular, they should accept the recommendation of the Housing Select Committee to ensure the bill provides a robust system of third-party accreditation and registration for design and construction professionals.

The ambitious net-zero targets set out in the Queen’s Speech must now be followed up with tangible and realistic policies to achieve this. The government should use the upcoming Heat and Buildings Strategy to set out a long term plan to retrofit the millions of homes and commercial buildings in the UK. We must avoid the short term thinking we saw with the Green Homes Grant.

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