2020 Strategy won’t help warns Master Builders

"Given that construction SMEs represent 99% of the three million construction companies within the EU and 80% of the sector’s turnover it is staggering that the EU’s new policy strategy should ignore their vital role in helping Europe’s economic recovery.

"One area that the Commission should be considering is the need to improve training in the SME sector. The Commission should be considering committing greater resources to Member States in the form of training funds, expanding the European Social Fund, as well as refocusing its priorities towards the creation of green jobs for employees with an emphasis on the self-employed who make up the vast majority of construction companies within the EU.

"One of the biggest problems hindering Europe’s recovery is the difficulty of small businesses having access to finance. The greater use of guarantee funds and micro-credit with the support of the European Investment Bank (EIB) would help address this problem. The Commission should also be considering the need to increase the availability of structural funds (ERDF) to Members Sates for the purposes of improving energy efficiency in the built environment as well as meeting environmental targets."

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