Modernise or die: Time to decide the future of the construction industry

Construction worker on site

A new report written by Mark Farmer, CEO of Cast Consultancy on behalf of the Construction Leadership Council provides a stark review of the problems within the construction industry. 

From an ageing workforce to underinvestment, from lack of incentives to alignment between industry and client interests, it’s a hard hitting document.
Construction industry - modernise or die diagram - the symptoms

The challenge the report sets is for us to do things differently - to stop building in the same way as we have for decades/centuries, which has a heavy demand for on-site labour. 

The review says that the construction industry in the UK is chronically underinvested due to a combination of economic, market and behavioural factors. Long-term productivity is stagnant. On top of this, the industry faces a major threat from declining workforce numbers. 

This is a challenge for all - the industry, its clients, and government. 

“This is not just another ’must do better’ school report where the industry and its clients shrug their shoulders and carry on as normal.”

The solution?

In its recommendations the report concludes that “The vision should be of a UK construction sector where traditional skills needs are efficiently met, with looming labour shortages at least partially offset by a greater and more focused investment in the appropriate skills that industry will require in the future. 

"Alongside this, purposeful and strategic industry leadership is needed, driving investment in new technology and manufacturing capability that will grow over time to boost capacity and productivity and reduce the reliance on labour in-line with the likely future labour shortages."

The report focuses in particular on housing.

It is suggested that the residential sector will lend itself more easily to a large scale move to a manufacturing led approach, paving the way for future uptake in other sectors.

“If this review does only one thing, it must be to bring the likely reality into greater focus.”

Read the full report at and tell us what you think below.

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(No subject)

Submitted 3 years 9 months ago

Hello, nice post :) And nice infographic. I agree that there is need for an imporvement in the industry. Our team als put together a post inspired by Farmer's work. Feel free to check it out.
Have a nice day, Alice

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Submitted 3 years 9 months ago

All comments posted at an earlier date to this one have been transferred from our old website.

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