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‘Hear our voice’ – UK Construction Week invites new PM to Birmingham show

‘Hear our voice’ - UK Construction Week invites new PM to Birmingham show

Organisers of UK Construction Week (UKCW), the UK’s biggest event for the built environment, have sent their congratulations to Sir Keir Starmer on last night’s General Election victory – along with an open invitation to this autumn’s show.​

UKCW Birmingham (NEC, 1-3 October) has invited the new Prime Minister to not only speak at the three-day event, but hear first-hand from industry leaders on the issues they are currently facing, and how the new Labour government can best support a sector that employs over 1.5 million people and contributes more than £130 billion to the UK economy.​

At UKCW Birmingham, Sir Keir will have the opportunity to speak to a wide range of professionals from the industry, including architects, contractors, designers, planners, surveyors, and key national house builders, including Berkeley Group, Barratt Developments, Persimmon Homes and Bellway.​

Sam Patel, Divisional Director – Construction, commented: “We would like to congratulate Sir Keir and his party on last night’s victory, and would like to extend an invitation for him and his new Cabinet to come to the NEC in October and hear how they can help our sector over the next five years and beyond.

“The theme for UKCW Birmingham 2024 is ‘Growth’, and we hope the new Labour government will quickly set to work on delivering on its manifesto promises on homebuilding, fast track approvals of urban brownfield sites and updating the National Policy Planning Framework.”

With its reputation for networking and knowledge sharing, organisers of UKCW Birmingham asked its 2024 Role Models nominees what they would do if they became prime minister. ​

Insightful responses included:

Paula McMahon – Honorary Professor of Teesside University (Icon nominee)

  • A long-term sustainable infrastructure plan
  • Considerate client scheme to embed fair procurement, staff competencies and sustainability into all projects
  • Wider utilisation of apprenticeships 

Kevin Pratt – Director, Purehaus (Pioneer nominee)

  • Education in sustainable building practices at all levels
  • Have all new build homes built to Passivhaus
  • Require all installers in the built environment to carry a building passport showing their historical projects

Rekiya Shodunke, Apprentice Technical Coordinator, Berkeley Group (Rising Star nominee)

  • Encourage and allocate resources to investment in research and development – specifically areas such as sustainable practices and smart technologies
  • Collaborate with industry leaders to establish a robust system for recruitment, skills development and training
  • Prioritise investments in housing, transportation and energy infrastructure projects

UKCW Birmingham’s own election wishlist addresses three core topics – mental health, skills and planning:​

  • Urgently address the mental health issue in construction;  in 2021, 507 construction workers took their own lives, equivalent to two workers every day. The next UK government must work with industry leaders to stem this disturbing trend. Mental health is a key focus at UKCW Birmingham and an increasingly pressing topic. This year’s event will see mental health discussed across several of the show hubs. 
  • Bridge the skills gap – the UK Trade Skills Index 2023 highlighted the need for 937,000 new recruits in the construction and trades industry over the next decade; more must be done at schools and colleges to not only raise awareness of the broad range of jobs available in construction, but also to remove the image of construction work only being ‘dirty jobs’ and only for men. UKCW Birmingham will once again be working in partnership with the CITB (Construction Industry Training Board) at the Skills & Training Hub, which was a huge success at UKCW London in May.
  • There is an urgent need to streamline planning processes; the next government needs to commit to infrastructure delivery, and communicate more with contractors, clients and trade bodies to better understand how they operate.

Opened by architect and Channel 4 presenter George Clarke, UKCW Birmingham attracts visitors and exhibitors from across the globe, and will showcase a host of international exhibitors from the likes of Turkey, China and India.

​The multi award-winning show will feature over 200 exhibitors. 300-plus seminars, CPD sessions and workshops, and over 300 thought leaders and keynote speakers. 

​ To find out more and register for UKCW Birmingham for free, visit https://ukcw-birmingham-2024.reg.buzz/cabpr

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BDC 319 : Aug 2024