Licensing scheme the only way to outlaw cowboy builders says FMB

The Federation of Master Builders (FMB) is calling for more regulation in the construction industry to end the tyranny of cowboy builders. The trade association, the largest in the UK construction industry, is hoping to persuade the Government to introduce a licensing scheme in construction as part of its new Agenda: ‘Raising the bar – a post-Grenfell agenda for quality and professionalism in construction’. 

“Until we introduce a licensing scheme in construction, cowboy builders will continue to run rampant in our industry,” says Brian Berry, Chief Executive of the FMB. “Licensing would ensure a minimum level of competence and professionalism and give consumers greater assurance when hiring a builder. Unlike in the US and Germany, anyone can be a builder in the UK. What this means is that we have allowed a significant minority of cowboy builders to give the whole construction industry a bad name. Our latest research shows that almost 80% of our members are so fed up with rogue builders tarnishing their reputation, they are in favour of introducing a licencing scheme. Our research among consumers also shows that one third of home owners in the UK are so anxious about hiring a dodgy builder that they don’t commission any building work whatsoever. It’s time to release this pent up demand for building work through a licensing scheme consumers can trust.”

The FMB argues that the safety benefits of a licensing scheme are even more important than the economic benefits. The new Agenda also calls for mandatory warranties for building projects that require building control sign-off to protect consumers further. The FMB would also like to work with industry to develop a ‘general builder’ qualification which would seek to recognise high standards of professionalism in the industry.

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