Policy makers and industry leaders on the key issues facing construction this year
The Government Construction Summit includes a conference featuring cabinet ministers and executives from the construction industry. We spoke to a range of keynote speakers to find out what they perceive as the most important issues affecting the sector.
The Cabinet Office is an event partner, and is the source of several initiatives affecting the construction industry. This year it is launching project bank accounts and is posting tenders online to open up public sector procurement to a wider pool of suppliers.
Rt. Hon. Francis Maude, Minister for the Cabinet, says: “The commitment to reduce the cost of construction by 20% is no small thing. It will help the government and the construction industry, stimulating growth by enabling more to be constructed within the funds available.
“I fully support the challenge that the Government’s Construction Strategy sends out to the public sector and to the construction industry. The public sector needs to be a better, more informed and strategic client.”
“A vibrant, successful engineering and construction industry is a key component in driving growth in the UK economy to provide real opportunities for employment up and down the country,” Ray O’Rourke
In these economically uncertain times, unlocking the potential of the construction industry is vital for the country overall. There’s been a lot of talk about rebalancing the economy and recently Vince Cable, secretary of state at event partner BIS, acknowledged how important pump priming the construction industry is to the recovery.
This is a view echoed by industry executives, including Ray O’Rourke, chairman and chief executive of Laing O’Rourke. He says: “A vibrant, successful engineering and construction industry is a key component in driving growth in the UK economy to provide real opportunities for employment up and down the country.
“Now is a crucial time for government and the industry to come closer together and use our collective skills, innovative thinking and energy to create sustainable momentum.”
The government’s role in infrastructure goes beyond being a client, it has a great influence on sectors where it merely regulates but doesn’t build. Last year it published a major projects pipeline - this diverse list included both public and private sector projects.
The pipeline was intended to enable the industry to devise long term strategies for projects where the government holds the purse strings and for major infrastructure projects that require high-profile planning consent.
Dr Uwe Krueger, chief executive officer at Atkins comments: “Energy, transportation and water schemes are destined to play a major role in boosting GDP and the engineering sector.
“It is exactly the right time to bring the industry together to discuss how we can use our world class expertise to boost the UK’s growth and international reputation, championing projects such as the London 2012 Games.”
Book now to secure a place at the event on 2 July in London at GCS.