B&ES looks towards the General Election
The Building & Engineering Services Association (B&ES) has published a business manifesto to highlight the issues that the next Government must address if the construction industry in the UK is to remain genuinely fit for purpose. The General Election will be on 7 May 2015, unless the House of Commons votes for an earlier date.
Andy Sneyd, president of B&ES, explains that the manifesto focuses mainly on commercial matters — especially ‘the iniquity of late payment, the elimination of waste from the construction process and the maximisation of efficiency throughout the supply chain’.
He said, ‘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.
B&ES is currently engaged in a sector-wide consultation on the new qualifications standards and the new training arrangements that have been drawn up by the employers themselves. It includes issues such as the appropriate duration of apprenticeships, the competencies that apprentices must have achieved on completion of their training and the specific knowledge and skills they must acquire during the apprenticeship programme.
Andy Sneyd said, ‘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.’
The manifesto also refers to what he describes as ‘the perennial debate that continues to surround sustainability, energy efficiency, emissions reduction and the low-carbon economy’.
He said, ‘B&ES has long taken a lead in the development of sustainability 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.
‘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 closely with their public- and private-sector clients in ensuring the intelligent use of the technologies that are crucial to this process.’