Construction industry launches Licensing Task Force

Construction industry launches Licensing Task Force

The Federation of Master Builders (FMB) has announced the creation of an industry-wide initiative to create a licensing scheme across the construction industry.

The construction industry has come together to develop a mandatory licensing scheme for all UK construction companies to transform the sector into a high quality and professional industry, announces the Federation of Master Builders (FMB). A new Construction Licensing Task Force, supported by a range of leading industry bodies, will lead the development of the licensing scheme.

According to research by the organisation one third (32%) of homeowners are put off doing major home improvement works requiring a builder because they fear hiring a dodgy builder, which means that the UK economy could be missing out on £10 billion of construction activity per year.

The research also suggests that more than three-quarters (77%) of small and medium-sized (SME) construction firms support the introduction of licensing to professionalise the industry, protect consumers and side-line unprofessional and incompetent building firms.

The decision to establish a Construction Licensing Task Force follows a recommendation in an independent research report by Pye Tait published last year entitled ‘Licence to build: A pathway to licensing UK construction’, which details the benefits of introducing a licensing scheme for the whole construction industry and puts forward a proposal for how it could work.

The Task Force will be chaired by Liz Peace CBE, former CEO of the British Property Federation. The following organisations will sit on it:

Association of Consultancy and Engineering
British Property Federation
Chartered Institute of Building
Construction Products Association
Electrical Contractors Association
Federation of Master Builders
Glass and Glazing Federation / FENSA
Local Authority Building Control
Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors
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Liz Peace CBE, Chair of the Construction Licensing Task Force, said: “Mandatory licensing has the potential to transform our industry into a world-leading sector. Licensing will help drive up standards and help address the issue of quality and professionalism, which is some areas, is falling short.”

Brian Berry, Chief Executive of the FMB, said: “The vast majority of builders and homeowners want to see the construction industry professionalised. It’s unacceptable that more than half of consumers have had a negative experience with their builder. However, we shouldn’t be surprised by this given that in the UK, it is perfectly legal for anyone to set up a building firm and start selling their services without any prior experience or qualifications. This cannot be right given the nature of the work and the potential health and safety risks when something goes wrong. In countries like Australia and Germany, building firms require a licence and we want to develop a scheme that regulates our industry in a similar manner. I am delighted to be part of the Construction Licensing Task Force and will ensure that any such scheme works for small building firms.”

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