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The Construction Sector Deal explained

The government and industry are investing £420m in digital technology, offsite manufacturing, energy efficient buildings and more apprenticeships


Earlier this month (5 July 2018) the government announced its ‘Construction Sector Deal’ with a pledge of £420m in match-funding towards the development of new technologies that it wants to help cut the delivery, especially the 1.5 million homes that the government has committed to build by 2025.

Andrew Wolstenholme, who is Co-Chair of the Construction Leadership Council said that securing the deal “sends out a statement about the vital contribution our sector makes to the country”.

The government’s figures show that the construction sector employs 3.1 million people and had a turnover of £370bn in 2016, which added £138bn in value to the UK economy. 

However, a lack of productivity, which has been 21% lower than the rest of the economy since 1997, is holding construction back.

The 2016 Farmer Review put this down to the unpredictability of the sector combined with a lack of collaboration and investment in innovation. The Construction Sector Deal aims to tackle these issues with investment from government and businesses, focusing on digital technology, offsite manufacturing techniques and whole-life building performance. It also wants to massively increase apprenticeships.

Focus areas



Used in all phases of design to deliver more certain results during the construction and operation of buildings. Clients, design and construction teams plus the supply chain working more closely together will improve safety, quality and productivity during construction.


Offsite manufacturing

      Technologies to help minimise the wastage, inefficiencies and delays that affect onsite construction, and enable production to happen in parallel with site preparation – speeding up construction and reducing disruption.

Whole life asset performance

Whole life asset performance will shift focus from the costs of construction to the costs of a building across its life cycle, particularly its use of energy.


The government will invest £170m towards innovations that increase industry productivity and speed up the housebuilding process, supported by £250m from the private sector.

Construction employs 3.1 million people and had a turnover of £370bn in 2016. However, its productivity has been 21% lower than the rest of the economy since 1997.

Modernise or Die

Commissioned in 2016 by the Construction Leadership Council, the Farmer Review 2016: Modernise or die report calls for urgent action to improve training, investment in R&D and the adoption of new innovation to improve productivity and meet the skills crisis.

Skills and training

The Construction Sector Deal aims to create 25,000 construction apprenticeships and 1,000 Construction T Level placements by 2020. It also wants to reform CITB so that it focusses on future training needs, with £34m to scale up innovative training models across the country.