The Building & Engineering Services Association (B&ES) has published its Business Manifesto, highlighting the issues it believes the new Government must address if UK construction is to remain fit-for-purpose in the years ahead.
Speaking at a press briefing on January 23rd, President, Andy Sneyd, explained that the manifesto had been drawn up in advance of the May general election and that it focused, to a great extent, on commercial matters such as late payment, the elimination of waste from the procurement process and the maximisation of efficiency in the supply chain.
“It also highlights the growing importance of vocational education and training – at every level of the workforce – in ensuring that we employ the required calibre, and the required number, of highly skilled and highly motivated individuals, who are fully capable of meeting the challenges of an increasingly complex industry,” Mr Sneyd said.
He added that the Association was currently engaged in a sector-wide consultation on the new qualifications standards and new training arrangements which have been drawn up by employers, and which address such issues as:
– the appropriate duration of apprenticeships;
– the competences which apprentices must have achieved on completion of their training, and
– the specific knowledge and skills they must acquire during the apprenticeship programme.
“There is no doubt that these new standards will have a significant impact on every organisation and individual engaged in building engineering services – and on the shape and structure of the sector as a whole,” said Mr Sneyd.
The final strand of the manifesto refers to what the president described as “the perennial debate that continues to surround sustainability, energy efficiency, emissions reduction and the low-carbon economy.”
“B&ES has long taken a lead in the development of sustainable building engineering services – recent research having confirmed that the vast majority of our members are already involved in sustainable contracting, with many assuming a project management role,” he told journalists.
Mr Sneyd went on to recall that UK legislation required that carbon emissions be reduced by 80% by 2050 and that Government had targeted a reduction of 50% by 2025.
“Given that as much as 60% of UK carbon emissions are from buildings, it follows that B&ES members have a key part to play in working with their public and private sector clients in ensuring the intelligent use of the technologies that are crucial to this process,” he concluded.
The B&ES manifesto is available from www.b-es.org