Election24: What a Labour win means for construction


The Labour party has won a landslide victory in the UK general election 2024, but what will the industry look like for the next five years?

Credit: The Labour Party

Labour leader Keir Starmer declared ‘change begins now’ after winning an overall majority in yesterday’s (4 July) general election.

The party won 412 seats crushing the outgoing Conservative party and gaining a huge mandate for the next government.

During the campaign Labour released their manifesto which gives an insight into the policies they wish to enact over the next five years.

The party has made significant pledges to stimulate growth in the construction sector, promising new infrastructure, housebuilding, increasing renewable energy and strengthening the British workforce.

Key pledges:

  • Build 1.5 million new homes.
  • Establish a National Wealth Fund for development and infrastructure.
  • Introduce a new National Infrastructure and Service Transformation Authority.
  • Improving rail connectivity across the north and maintaining Britain’s road network.
  • Updating compulsory purchase compensation rules to speed up building projects.
  • Establish a youth guarantee for training, apprenticeships, or support to find work for all 18– 21-year-olds.
  • End the reliance on overseas workers.
  • Creating a new publicly-owned company, Great British Energy.

Data and market analyst Glenigan revealed in its latest forecast that a Labour Government could signal the end of political instability and return investor confidence in construction projects, predicting that private house building could see a 14 per cent upturn in 2025.

Last month, Bloomberg reported Labour has been holding meetings with a ‘British Infrastructure Council’ to discuss with investors, including BlackRock, Lloyds Banking Group and HSBC, how it can unlock private capital to ‘rebuild Britain’.

The party also plans to stage a global investment summit in its first 100 days in office.

Growth in the sector has been cautioned in Mace’s Q2 UK Market Report as dependent on ‘more favourable conditions’, however, highlights the approach of the next government as a potential catalyst of growth.

Industry response

Labour has seen industry backing in the run-up to the election with Balfour Beatty CEO Leo Quinn sharing his enthusiasm for Starmer’s plan for growth on social media.

Quinn said: “I was keen to learn about Labour’s plans to support infrastructure, streamline planning processes, and bolster skills development as outlined in their Manifesto, and was reassured to see their acknowledgment of the infrastructure and construction sector’s role in driving economic growth.”

Elsewhere, The Chartered Institute of Building (CIOB) has stressed the importance the construction industry plays in all areas of the UK.

Eddie Tuttle, director for policy, external affairs and research at CIOB, said: “We look forward to working with The Labour Government to help deliver on their manifesto commitments.

But to do this, we must be realistic about the challenges the construction industry is facing, notably the shrinking skills base and the ageing construction workforce, with significant numbers of workers retiring and a lack of new entrants joining.”

Meanwhile, NIS Group CEO Davie Carns cautioned a need for a further 251,000 extra workers by 2028 in an industry already employing over 2.5million people, in order for Labour to meet the current slate of projects.

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