The Chartered Institute of Building (CIOB), Scottish Renewables and the Institution of Civil Engineers (ICE) have all released manifestos outlining key policy proposals to support construction and infrastructure ahead of the General Election.

In order to improve policy making and provide a better understanding of the construction industry’s contribution to society, the CIOB has outlined five interlinked policy proposals for prospective parliamentary candidates and the next government to consider.

The five aims outlined in the CIOB’s Building the Case for Construction manifesto are:

  1. Continue support for the Industrial Strategy and recognise construction’s role in improving productivity
  2. Work alongside the construction industry to support a robust system for training and skills development
  3. Recognise and address both the opportunities and risks that Brexit will bring
  4. Ensure quality is at the heart of the nation’s construction programme
  5. Focus on regional investment in construction to rebalance the UK economy.

Chris Blythe OBE, chief executive of the CIOB, said: “The quality of our built environment affects every member of society. Construction creates and maintains the places that people live, work and play, the infrastructure that supports them and the services that sustain them. And it is vital that those elected to represent their constituents in Parliament understand this.

“Our manifesto showcases how construction can act as a solution to major policy issues. Our proposals are interlinked, showcasing the need for a collaborative approach to productivity, skills, quality, investment and Brexit.

“It is crucial that policy makers appreciate the contribution of the construction sector: the decisions made today will be felt for decades and generations.”

Membership organisation Scottish Renewables, which represents 270 individuals and businesses working in the renewable energy sector in Scotland, has detailed how it believes the next UK government can deliver affordable energy and clean growth.

Scottish Renewables 2017 General Election Manifesto: Delivering Affordable Energy and Clean Growth sets out of the following recommendations:

  1. Maintain commitment to climate change targets
  2. Unlock investment in lowest-cost forms of energy
  3. Continue the growth of less-established technologies
  4. Accelerate the decarbonisation of heat and transport within an integrated energy system
  5. Enable local communities to benefit from clean growth
  6. Support research and innovation to deliver a smarter energy system
  7. Back our world-leading low-carbon energy sector

Launching the publication, chief executive Niall Stuart, said: “The growth of renewables has been one of the defining shifts in our energy system over the last decade, with renewables in Scotland now generating a significant share of the UK’s electricity needs.

“Advances in technology and rapid cost reductions mean that our industry can generate further economic and environmental benefit to Scotland and the UK – providing affordable energy for households and business, and driving clean growth across the country.

“However, we will only realise those benefits with the right policy framework to unlock the investment, research and innovation required to deliver a secure, modern and low-carbon energy system.”

Mr Stuart added: “We look forward to working with the next government to deliver our shared ambitions for Scotland and the UK.”

The Institution of Civil Engineers put skills, investment, innovation and productivity at the heart of its election manifesto.

The manifesto, which recognises infrastructure as the bedrock of economic growth with the capacity to create jobs and significantly improve people’s lives, asks that:

  • The UK avoids a self-inflicted skills crisis:  Guaranteeing the status of EU nationals working in the UK.
  • Infrastructure is placed at the heart of economic policy: The UK needs a long-term strategic approach to infrastructure provision that can cope with future uncertainties.
  • Productivity and regional growth are driven through the nation’s infrastructure: There is a direct connection between the efficiency and effectiveness of our infrastructure and productivity within communities across the UK. All parties should commit to delivering a Modern Industrial Strategy so that infrastructure services increase productivity.
  • Brexit negotiations consolidate the UK’s status as an attractive location for infrastructure investment: Ensuring that the Brexit negotiation process does not disrupt the healthy pipeline of projects and established models will mean that investors, financiers and developers will continue to have a positive view of the UK.
  • The UK is allowed to become a global leader in infrastructure innovation and technology: Ensuring that infrastructure remains a priority in any Industrial Strategy, with a programme to exploit the UK’s existing advantages in innovation and technology.

ICE director for Scotland, Sara Thiam, said: “The Scottish Government recognises the importance of infrastructure to the Scottish economy and the quality of life of people living here. Investment in our core services – water, transport, energy, schools, hospitals – has been central to maintaining economic growth and creating jobs in a period of considerable uncertainty. It has made Scotland the most attractive destination for foreign direct investment in the UK outside of London and the South East of England, benefiting the whole of the UK economy.

“Continued investment in existing and new infrastructure and the skills to meet our current and future requirements is essential. Scotland has considerable expertise in key sectors, including energy, and has much to offer in shaping the future of the industry. Investment in innovation, Science Technology Engineering and Maths education and R&D will help ensure that Scotland and the UK continue to occupy a central space in the global infrastructure market.

“The services which allow us to live good lives, create jobs, and bolster the economy should be a matter of priority for all parties, north and south of the border, at the forthcoming General Election.”

On publishing the manifesto, ICE director General Nick Baveystock added: “Effective, efficient and innovative infrastructure is at the heart of a thriving, successful and modern economy. The transport energy and housing that we all depend on would simply not function without it. That is why we are asking all parties now running for election to focus their efforts so we continue to deliver world-leading projects, on time and on budget, that change people lives for the better.

“If enacted the five areas in our election manifesto would provide the stable foundations for the UK’s infrastructure sector to implement the National Needs Assessment and avoid serious pitfalls in a politically uncertain world.

“When infrastructure projects flourish, the entire economy benefits. We know that £1 of infrastructure construction raises economic activity by £2.84. The sector also helps boost employment. Every 1,000 direct jobs created by the delivery of new infrastructure boosts wider employment by over 3,000 jobs.”

Last week, the Specialist Engineering Contractors’ Group (SEC Group), the Building Engineering Services Association (BESA), the Electrical Contractors’ Association (ECA) and the National Home Improvement Council (NHIC) published their election wish lists while the Federation of Master Builders (FMB) also launched a five-point programme for government.

Via Scottish Construction Now. Read the original article here.