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BSRIA responds to Budget announcement

BSRIA chief executive, Julia Evans, has issued a response to last week’s Budget announcement made by Chancellor George Osborne.

With regard to the news that one million extra jobs will be created by 2020 and that there will be a new apprenticeship levy for large employers, she said: “BSRIA welcomes this announcement – and with the construction industry ‘crying out’ for highly skilled staff – investment is needed now – both to attract new entrants into the industry and train them – and, indeed, train and upskill staff already in the industry. The construction industry is currently suffering from a major skills shortage. Any measures that attract new entrants will be welcomed.”

Ms Evans continued: “BSRIA sees the training of construction industry apprenticeships as critical, if the government is serious about boosting apprenticeships, it should focus on improving the quality of apprenticeships to make them more attractive to employers – especially in the construction industry. Businesses of all sizes need positive encouragement and an apprenticeship system that meets their needs.”

On social housing sector rents, Ms Evans said: “Rents in the social housing sector will be reduced by 1% a year for the next four years. Will this lead to a reduction in investment to ensure housing is energy efficient? And will it discourage building of new housing?

'Energy efficiency in housing – both existing and new – is essential. Measures in testing for such energy efficiency and, indeed investing in existing housing stock is vital.”

In response to the news that the Climate Change Levy exemption for renewable energy will be removed she said:“After the announcement that renewable power generators would no longer be exempt from the Climate Change Levy, BSRIA is concerned that this could lead to a lower take up of renewable energy – such green credentials must play apart in achieving the carbon emissions targets.

Finally Julia Evans said: “The Chancellor’s commitment to further cut Corporation Tax is a clear sign that Britain ‘is open for business’, however, it could be asked if this should be linked to improved energy efficiency.”

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