The Federation of Master Builders (FMB) has launched its new agenda for quality and professionalism in construction.
The FMB is calling on the Government to introduce a licensing scheme in construction as part of its new agenda ‘Raising the bar: A post-Grenfell agenda for quality and professionalism in construction’.
Brian Berry, Chief Executive of the FMB, said: “Until we introduce a licensing scheme in construction, cowboy builders will continue to run rampant in our industry. Licensing would ensure a minimum level of competence and professionalism and give consumers greater assurance when hiring a builder. Unlike in the US and Germany, anyone can be a builder in the UK. What this means is that we have allowed a significant minority of cowboy builders to give the whole construction industry a bad name. Our latest research shows that almost 80% of our members are so fed up with rogue builders tarnishing their reputation, they are in favour of introducing a licencing scheme.”
In order to raise standards across the industry, the FMB has introduced inspection in order to gain membership, and will continue to inspect members every three years.
The new FMB agenda calls for three main recommendations:
- A licensing system for all construction firms
- Mandatory warranties for Building Control-approved work
- A new ‘general builder’ qualification.
Brian Berry continued: “Even more important than the economic benefits that would come from increasing quality and professionalism in the industry are the safety benefits. The Grenfell Tower tragedy reminded us of the price paid when things go wrong in the construction industry. Grenfell raised serious questions about standards, regulation and compliance within the construction sector and although we await the results of the Hackitt Review, we want to start a wider conversation about how we can drive up quality and professionalism in construction.”
Lord Porter, however, commented that a rogue few ‘cowboy builders’ are tarnishing the name of the industry, and that “more needs to be done to install public confidence in builders”.
John Healey MP, Shadow Housing Minister, also attended the launch of the FMB’s agenda. He praised the document and the recommendations that have been set forward, and commented that: “This is some contribution to the wider path ahead” of the industry improving standards post-Grenfell.