Wates Construction, has hailed the Chancellor of the Exchequer’s Budget 2017 as a key boost for construction as funding for 110 new free schools is confirmed.
Ian Vickers, Managing Director of Wates Construction, Home Counties, comments:
“The announcement of new funding for vital public services is always welcome news and with the investment in new free schools also comes an extra £261m to improve existing school buildings, which is going to ensure that education in our region continues to diversify and improve.
The ripple effects of this investment will be of great importance to the region. With investment in new buildings comes a rise in construction output and as one the UK’s biggest contributors to GDP, our industry is going to play a central role in securing our long-term economic strength.
The Chancellor quite rightly acknowledged the need to increase investment in skills training, supporting the recent decrease in the number of young people Not in Education, Employment or Training (NEET). The number of NEETs in England fell by 24% between quarter 3 and quarter 4 2016*, a very promising sign that more employment and training opportunities are being created for young people. That said, we must keep this momentum going and investments in new developments, such as schools, enable the construction industry to ensure that that this is achieved.
One area of focus for the Government seems to be their commitment to increasing the country’s productivity and this is certainly a step in the right direction. The considerable investments that are to be made in talent and technology for the science and innovation sector will certainly help this but what is also needed is increased funding for new science and research facilities to ultimately ensure that our country maintains its position as a world leader in innovation.”
Wates Construction is currently delivering the Institute of Food Research’s new Quadram Institute in Norwich and the University of Southampton’s pioneering Boldrewood Campus, home to the university’s new centre for innovation and maritime engineering.
*Gov.uk, NEET Quarterly Brief, February 23rd 2017