We know members of the Federation of Master Builders (FMB) are passionate about good quality construction, which is why many have backed our campaign for a licensing scheme to help protect the industry and customers from cowboy builders.
In the UK, any person or company is legally allowed to undertake construction work without having to demonstrate a minimum level of competence. This means that our construction industry is not as safe, professional or productive as it might otherwise be. Other countries, such as Germany and parts of Australia and the US, have a licensing scheme, which ensures that those operating in the construction industry have the right skills and experience to do so.
A licensing scheme for the UK construction industry has the potential to professionalise our sector, improve its image and increase the quality of the built environment. There is broad support for licensing from consumers, industry and policymakers. The Government has challenged the industry to develop the blueprint for a licensing scheme and this is the role of the cross-industry Licensing Task Force. The FMB has been at the fore in establishing the Task Force, which is chaired by Liz Peace who is passionate about improving quality and
standards in the industry and believes a licensing scheme would be transformative.
WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF A LICENSING SCHEME?
1 Remove incompetent and rogue traders from the industry
A licensing scheme would allow the industry to enforce a basic level of competence at entry level.
2 Offer a much higher level of consumer protection
FMB research shows that one-in-three homeowners have been put off doing major home improvement work for fear of hiring a cowboy builder.
3 Increase construction output to boost the wider economy
Licensing would increase confidence in the industry and lead to more work being
4 Drive up quality, professionalism and productivity
Gaining and renewing the licence would provide a means of enabling a Continued Personal Development scheme.
5 Improve health and safety compliance
Basic health and safety testing could be included as an entry criterion for a
6 Improve the image of the industry
Increasing quality and professionalism would help attract more new entrants and ease the skills crisis.
Time for action
In recent months, the FMB has been working with Conservative MP Mark Garnier, who has tabled a Private Members’ Bill, which was scheduled to be debated in Parliament on 19
November, to raise awareness of the destructive impact of ‘cowboy builders’.
Private Members’ Bills can succeed in different ways; they may change the law, but more commonly they raise the profile of a campaign, which can in turn lead the Government to change policy.
We encourage all within the industry to join the FMB to drive forward this campaign to licence the UK construction industry.
For more information on how you and your company can get involved, please visit the website: www.fmb.org.uk/licensing