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The UK Carbon Plan – What Will It Mean for the Building Industry?

The UK Carbon Plan represents the Government’s commitment to creating a greener Britain – with specific reference to the construction industry. But what does it actually mean? Will the UK construction industry find itself hampered by stringent legislation; or will it find that the UK Carbon Plan gives it assistance in making the changes it needs to? Early signs suggest that the industry may find that Governmental plans to penalise carbon emissions could translate into an explosion of new jobs as retrofitting becomes a financial must for existing UK companies.

Construction Recruitment Under the UK Carbon Plan

The basic argument of the UK Carbon Plan – that carbon emissions are environmentally costly and so should be chargeable – is a pretty big carrot for the UK construction industry, which has suffered a lack of skilled employees over the last 20 years. Two recessions have taken out longstanding experts from every trade, leaving plenty of scope for new employment but not a great deal of incentive. Now that the Carbon Plan is setting itself up to charge all UK businesses for their carbon emissions, the construction industry could be looking at a huge number of potential new contracts. It is cheaper in the long term for a company to retrofit with eco friendly heating and lighting than it is for it to pay the bills for its carbon emissions: a fact that is causing construction recruitment suppliers like Construction Support Line to prepare for an influx of new workers. After the drop off in building work caused by the housing market crash, the Carbon Plan could be the stimulator that the UK construction industry has been looking for.

Will the Carbon Plan Create New Types of Construction Jobs in the UK?

As the UK Carbon Plan warms up and British businesses prepare to be assessed on their chargeable carbon emissivity, it is possible that new types of surveyor will be appearing on UK construction sites. They’ll be looking to measure the current carbon emissions of commercial premises that are being prepared for retrofit – and like everyone else on a construction site they’ll be required to pass a CSCS Test and present the right kind of CSCS Card (in this case a Regular Site Visitor Card). All UK site visitors and construction workers require the CSCS Card – to find out how to get one you can visit the Construction Support Line website, which has links explaining both the Health, Safety & Environment Tests and the Card application process.

The Carbon Plan and Construction Skills in the UK

The UK Carbon Plan isn’t without its problems of course. The whole idea requires that the construction workers doing the retrofitting have the right skills for the job. The UK building industry is already suffering from a shortage of skilled workers, and the skills required in order to enact retrofits caused by the UK Carbon Plan are not yet in place. Without Construction NVQ and CSCS accreditation for the new skills it is also hard to see how the new skills can be monitored. As the training initiative required here slips into gear, Construction Support Line will be supplying booking services as normal. The question is, how long will it take for effective training programmes to be ready?

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