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IWFM CEO Says Budget Hasn’t Done Enough for Green Recovery

IWFM CEO Says Budget Hasn’t Done Enough for Green Recovery
05 March 2021

IWFM’s CEO, Linda Hausmanis has stated that she was surprised that the Budget made no provision for further funding to support the decarbonisation of buildings.

On Wednesday, 3 March, Chancellor Rishi Sunak outlined a £65 billion three-point plan to support jobs and businesses as the UK emerges from the pandemic and sets out on the path to recovery.

Firstly, he outlined the Government’s continued economic support for people and businesses affected by the pandemic, before sharing plans for ‘fixing’ public finances and building the UK’s future economy.

Given the aim for buildings to be zero-carbon ready by 2025, Hausmanis urged the government not to jeopardise progress by withdrawing spending on Green Homes Grants.

However, the Institute of Workplace and Facilities Management (IWFM) praised the increase to the National Minimum Wage and the extension to the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme

Hausmanis commented: “This Budget has come at a pivotal, once-in-a-generation moment for the UK as we emerge from the pandemic. IWFM supports the general consensus that, to ensure long-term prosperity, the government must prioritise securing our economic recovery and building a fairer, more sustainable economy in line with its objectives on ‘levelling-up’ and climate change."


"Our profession’s skills shortages have already been well documented and it is far from clear yet how this issue will be exacerbated by the UK’s post-Brexit immigration policy."

–Linda Hausmanis



Apprenticeships and Employment Opportunities


“A co-ordinated skills and training policy, which helps to create employment opportunities and equip people with the tools to take on the jobs of the future, will be key to our improved productivity and future economic success. 

“This is particularly important for the workplace and FM profession which has quickly evolved into a diverse, multi-faceted discipline; a trend which has been sharpened by the pandemic. Our profession’s skills shortages have already been well documented and it is far from clear yet how this issue will be exacerbated by the UK’s post-Brexit immigration policy.

“We are encouraged by the Chancellor’s additional funding for apprenticeships and traineeships in England, including doubling the current cash incentive to £3,000 for firms which take on an apprentice, regardless of age, and extra money for 40,000 more traineeships. 

“With unemployment at its highest level for almost five years and apprenticeship starts curtailed by the pandemic, we hope these steps will encourage workplace and facilities management organisations to create new opportunities, particularly for younger workers entering the profession.

“We await with interest further detail on the new “portable” apprenticeships that, from July this year, will enable apprentices to work across multiple projects with different employers in one sector.

“However, we are disappointed that the Chancellor has not taken this opportunity to reform the apprenticeship levy by giving employers the flexibility to use it across a wider range of training provisions. A more flexible levy would allow businesses to upskill existing staff through other forms of training that are less expensive, and more suited to the needs of individual employees. IWFM will continue to make the case that this policy change would provide a massive boost to skills development and productivity levels throughout the economy.

“We also welcome the new Help to Grow fund aimed at helping SMEs to improve their productivity. This will provide access to management training, mentoring and free online advice on technology from leading business schools, and discounts on government-approved software.


National Minimum Wage Increase


“We are also pleased that the Chancellor has resisted pressure, both from within government and from some business and trade bodies, to hold back on planned increases to the National Minimum Wage from April as a means of helping businesses with the economic consequences of the pandemic. As a Living Wage Employer, IWFM encourages our members to pay all their staff the higher real Living Wage and we have published guidance which illustrates the business case for paying the real Living Wage.

“However, the Budget lacked any evidence of addressing inequalities in our society - an issue which has been further highlighted during the pandemic - therefore we will continue to pursue the desire for a fairer society for all.

‘Finally, it is also vital, in the year that the UK hosts COP26, that Government funding for its decarbonisation plans - including the aim for new non-domestic buildings to be ‘zero-carbon ready’ by 2025 - matches their ambition for the built environment. We were therefore surprised that the Budget makes no provision for further funding to support the decarbonisation of buildings and transport, and we support the UK Green Building Council’s call on the Government to deliver on a green recovery and not jeopardise progress by withdrawing spending on Green Homes Grants.”

Picture: a photograph of a forest 

Article written by Ella Tansley | Published 05 March 2021


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