The government has released the sixth monthly figures for the Help to Buy Scheme which reflects the growth of the housing sector. These figures show that in the first 14 months, up to 31st May 2014, 22,831 homes have been bought with the help of this scheme, which has increase by 11% from the total as of 30th April 2014.

In the Chancellors Annual mansion house speech last month he once again backed the Help to Buy Scheme, saying that it was “working as intended”.  Also in this speech the chancellor announced a series of planning reforms and state investment to boost house building in the UK. This will involve the treasury creating a £5m fund for local councils to help create the first 100 local development orders on brownfield land.  This will then limit development on green spaces in the UK, helping towards the delivery of 200,000 new homes.

Vince Cable, at the recent Green Construction Summit stated that the industry needs to reform to enable the rebuilding of a skills base, he stated that currently the industry is too fragmented.

In the last year we’ve had 14,000 construction apprenticeships start and Job creation has hit a 17 year high. The government has announced a £30 million fund to secure supply of engineers and boost the number of women in sector. ‘Surveying the Future’ is a new campaign to attract more talent to the surveying industry. The Construction News Campaign, Love Construction has now been running for one year and a children’s book showcasing careers within construction aims to get youngsters involved.

Simon Storer in his recent CIMCIG blog article also raises the fragmentation of the industry as an issue, indicating that construction is not punching its weight in terms of government influence. He says that while other sectors demonstrate unified thinking, construction has too many groups that consider themselves the most important. So how can we get a cohesive approach when presenting constructions value to UK plc? Answer on LinkedIn.

The ICE’s State of the Nation report has been published highlighting shortcomings in energy, flood management and local transport. Meanwhile the NCE report on a potential shortage of quarry reserves. Independent Armitt Review of Infrastructure argues a new approach is needed to prepare the country for the major challenges ahead, such as population growth and climate change.

SpecifiedBy have converted the latest versions of the Approved Documents available via the Planning Portal under the Open Government Licence. Details of the government initiative to help build more new homes on brownfield land have been released. As part of the Construction 2025 strategy delivery, the Construction Products Association is managing a project to analyse political and regulatory risk.

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