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Construction is a complex process. It therefore requires significant expertise to deliver the building engineering services that buildings demand.Read More
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There are 12 BESA London & South training awards in total across 3 categories - apprentice awards, employer awards and judges' choice.Read More
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A dedicated area to help raise awareness on the key issues surrounding the current lack of diversity, promoting the business benefits of a diverse workforce and sharing best practice case studies and actionable resources.Read More
A dedicated area to help raise awareness of mental health wellbeing in the building engineering services sector, providing practical resources and tools to help companies address this important issue in their workplaceRead More
A dedicated area to help raise awareness of the importance of indoor air quality, the conditions of air inside buildings and how our sector can work together to make buildings safe havens.Read More
A dedicated area to focus on how we in the building engineering services sector can learn from and improve following the Grenfell Tower tragedy.Read More
A dedicated area highlighting BESA's efforts to address the issue of retentions in the built environment.Read More
A dedicated area with resources and guidance for members affected by the Carillion collapse, as well as information on late payment reform.Read More
Wednesday, November 29, 2017
The Building Engineering Services Association (BESA) and the electrotechnical and engineering services trade body ECA have both welcomed the government’s decision to focus on improving productivity as a key element of its special ‘sector deal’ with construction.
Construction has been chosen as a front runner alongside life sciences, artificial intelligence and the automotive industry for a new partnership between government, academia and business as part of the government’s new Industrial Strategy. Other sectors to benefit from similar deals will be announced next year.
The construction sector deal could involve around £250m in extra investment, designed to improve the industry’s output and underpin plans to increase house building and infrastructure development, according to Business Secretary Greg Clark. The agreement includes £170m to be spent on r&d and innovation targeted at improving the industry’s productivity. Construction businesses will be encouraged to match the funding.
Paul Reeve, ECA Director of Business, welcomed the new sector deal, but said “the built environment should be seen ‘in the widest sense’ in order to maximize the benefits of the deal”, which he said had been proposed to government on the basis of whole life asset value “and not just for asset owners, but society as a whole”.
Business Secretary Greg Clark said that poor productivity was holding back economic growth adding that the Strategy was aimed at addressing “the weaknesses that stop us achieving our potential”. He said it would support the “five foundations of productivity: ideas, people, infrastructure, business environment and places”.
Improving the productivity of construction would involve “greater investment in innovation and skills, creating new and well-paid jobs and maximising its export potential”, according to a government statement.
“This will also reduce the environmental impact, improve the efficiency and reduce whole life cost of new projects and buildings to help build the houses, schools, hospitals and major transport projects we need.”
BESA’s legal and commercial director Rob Driscoll said the announcement was “hugely positive” and demonstrated that the government recognised the important role played by built environment professionals in delivering “social, economic and healthcare benefits”.
“Part of improving construction productivity must be a focus on the ‘whole life’ performance of the built environment i.e. ensuring that assets are designed and delivered in such a way that they continue to be fit for purpose throughout their operating life,” said Mr Driscoll.
“This will require wider adoption of digital methods of construction; increasing the amount of offsite manufacturing; development of the type of skills needed to support a more modern industry; and sorting out the industry’s payment problems so that supply chains can operate more harmoniously and collaboratively.”
BESA and the ECA said they looked forward to “working with the government and our industry partners to deliver these targets.”
Mr Reeve added: “Boosting industry productivity is possible, notably by engaging fully with digital processes and procurement, but to underpin productivity, the supply chain must also be involved early, and paid reliably.”
BESA and the ECA also welcomed the release of more details of the £64m National Retraining Scheme, announced in the Budget, and pointed out that this could be crucial in making sure more young people were made aware of the opportunities and benefits offered by apprenticeships.
Construction is one of the largest sectors in the UK economy with a turnover of £370bn, contributing £138 billion to the UK economy and employing 9% of the total UK workforce – 3.1 million people.
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