BESA and ECA urge the government to move quickly on industry reforms

industry reforms, construction, engineering
© Kittichai Boonpong

In light on the General Election result, Electrical Contractors’ Association (ECA) and Building Engineering Services Association (BESA) are urging the government to use its new parliamentary majority to deliver much-needed industry reforms

BESA chief executive, David Frise and ECA CEO Steve Bratt, said: “SMEs and the skilled engineering workforce are vital to the delivery of a dynamic, low carbon UK economy.

“So, we particularly welcome the government’s pledge to ‘clamp down on late payment’. Ending poor payment practices remains one of the biggest concerns of our members and it is an essential part of changing the industry’s culture.

“Our recent industry-wide survey has shown these practices have serious economic and financial downsides, along with putting mental health burdens on SME owners and their staff.”

“Furthermore, if done correctly and in close consultation with the industry, the proposed new building regulation regime could cement a better culture of competence and compliance within the industry, and crucially, save lives.”

The two associations are calling for a new five-point plan:

  • Active and prompt action in 2020 towards a low to no carbon UK, on the way to a net-zero carbon economy
  • Bring forward legislation to hold cash retentions in trust, as well as clamping down overall on late payment, thereby supporting SME businesses across the country
  • Provide certainty to industry by committing to investment in key long-term construction projects, and substantially investing in general infrastructure, including the railways and building 300,000 new homes every year
  • Legislate promptly to ensure the full recommendations of the Hackitt Review and related consultations are enacted, to ensure public fire safety
  • Help the engineering industry find and access the skilled people it desperately needs, by a strongly supporting apprentice and mature candidate training, and ensuring any proposed ‘Australian points-based system’ recognises the UK’s skills shortages


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