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How could the election affect the construction industry?

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How could the election affect the construction industry?

We’re fast approaching the next general election, and while many of the parties are promising to increase the minimum wage, increase the number of apprenticeships available and increase commitments to housebuilding and the construction industry – how do you know which party is best supporting your personal interests?  

We’ve put together a quick summary what each of the 3 main parties have promised in relation to construction and apprentices, to help you decide which box to tick on May 7th.


The Labour Party

Labour are promising to tackle youth unemployment by ensuring there will be an apprenticeship available for every school leaver that gets the required grades. This will involve making sure that every firm that wins a big government contract, and every big employer that currently sources skilled workers from abroad, hires apprentices. This will create thousands more apprenticeships throughout the public sector, creative industries and the civil service.

Ed Miliband has promised to focus on the quality of apprenticeships, moving away from substandard training and towards substantial learning courses, that are recognised by employers. They have also pledged to give employers more say over the standards and funding for apprenticeships.

Alongside this, Labour are looking to build at least 200,000 new homes by 2020. This is twice the current number, and the aim is to provide affordable housing for all who need it, but it will also complement the apprenticeship promises as to fulfil this, labour will need to create 230,000 new construction jobs.


The Conservatives

The Tories have already pledged to introduce 3 million new apprenticeships if re-elected, but have also recently promised to fund a further 50,000 apprenticeships with fines imposed on Deutsche Bank.

This latest pledge will target people who have been unemployed for over 6 months, and are aged between 22 and 24. The plan is that these apprenticeships will replace lower level further education courses with more quality apprenticeships that pay a wage. They will reflect the changing attitude toward the status and relevance of apprenticeships.

David Cameron has also committed to building 200,000 new homes, in a new ‘starter homes’ scheme, that will allow first time buyers a 20% discount and give them a helping hand on to the property ladder. This, along with the Conservatives help to buy scheme which has seen housebuilding rise by a third since 2013, should mean more jobs are apprenticeships are available for people in the construction industry.


The Liberal Democrats

Nick Clegg has said that his party will increase housebuilding to 300,000 and create 10 new Garden Cities around London. Again this will mean that the UK construction industry will have to hire more skilled workers and apprentices to meet demand.

Since forming part of the governing coalition in 2010, The Liberal Democrats have helped just over 2 million apprentices find placements. They have made it more financially attractive for businesses by offering grants of up to £1,500 for each young unemployed person they take on as an apprentice.

These scheme’s will be extended under the Liberal Democrats as they increase the amount of degree-equivalent higher apprenticeships extend the financial grants for employers. They have said their aim is to to double the number of businesses, and types of businesses that take on apprentices, so it becomes expected that businesses will take on and train young people.

Although we can see that all three parties are taking the requirement of apprenticeships seriously, it’s important to remember that these could be considered empty promises without an effective infrastructure in place to support them. For example, they would also need to ensure that schools and careers services have enough resources to meet the needs of young peoples looking for advice and guidance.

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