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Why construction matters

Look at the skyline of the town or city where you live. Look at your High Street. Look at the house next door. We’re seeing dramatic changes around us every day. Recently, global events have permanently impacted the way we live. They’ve changed how we travel, shop, work, and play. But even as the world around us stopped, we’ve kept on building. When the global pandemic brought everything around us to a halt, builders and engineers help to keep the country going, building hospitals, maintaining critical infrastructure, and keeping homes and buildings safe for those who live in them. Construction is linked to our most basic need for shelter. It’s at the heart of how we live.
It covers everything from design and build of new structures to conversions, renovations, and even demolition of the old. That includes the production of prefabricated construction materials, the preparation of construction sites, and even other IT and telecommunications services included within a building or structure. Construction drives our GDP. It’s an industry worth 119 billion pounds per year to the UK economy. And before the global pandemic, it employed 1.3 million people. Today, huge projects, like the UK’s High Speed 2 rail link, designed to connect communities and business people, are gathering speed. Foundations are being laid for new sustainable housing projects, giving families affordable living without the environmental cost.
Business centres, work spaces, and schools of the future– the skyline is constantly moving to the rhythm of construction, shaping our future, making it bolder, more connected, and greener. And the stakes are higher than ever. Ambitious net-zero goals to balance carbon emissions and reduce our carbon footprint are putting the construction industry at the forefront of helping us meet global warming targets. So what does this mean for us working in construction and those looking to enter the industry? It means thinking differently about the job at hand, thinking about the processes that make every job safer, understanding the many trades and crafts, from electrical engineering to bricklaying, plumbing to painting and decorating. It means joining a diverse industry that’s breaking down barriers.
Whether helping the country respond to the coronavirus pandemic to building roads, schools, or the homes we live in, it means seeing ourselves as driving the future, not holding it back. But first, over to you– how is construction affecting your life and your family today?

In this video we see how construction is all around us and how it shapes everything we do in our daily lives.

Whether that is helping the country respond to the coronavirus pandemic, keeping the lights on, building the schools of the future or the homes we live in, the construction industry is also a key player in our nation’s efforts to tackle the major challenges we all face such as climate change, housing, and our response to COVID-19.

The video shows just some of the range of activities in the construction industry including:

  • the design and build of buildings and structures
  • conversions, alterations, fitting out, renovation, repair, upkeep, redecoration and maintenance
  • demolition of buildings and structures
  • production of prefabricated construction materials
  • investigation and preparation of construction sites
  • commissioning, installation, maintenance, repair or removal of mechanical, electrical, gas, compressed air and hydraulics
  • other IT and telecommunications services included within a building or structure.

Crucially, the construction industry plays a huge role in the UK economic output. Before the COVID-19 pandemic, the construction industry was worth £119 billion per year to the UK economy, with almost 300,000 construction companies operating and employing 1.3m people.


Office for National Statistics. 2021. Construction statistics, Great Britain. [online] Available at:
[Accessed 1 February 2021].

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