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Key Ministerial Backing – supporting us so we can support industry

Our industry needs people to champion it, and when those people maintain a high profile, both within industry and government, then our ability to deliver on the skills agenda packs much more punch…

Phil Hope MP and Sir Michael LathamOur industry needs people to champion it, and when those people maintain a high profile, both within industry and government, then our ability to deliver on the skills agenda packs much more punch. This year a special thank-you must go to Skills Minister, Phil Hope MP, for all the support he has given our industry’s skills agenda throughout 2006. In the last 12 months ConstructionSkills has moved forward with some of the biggest developments in its history as a Sector Skills Council and Phil Hope has been a key government champion, supporting and endorsing a number of our initiatives.

As part of the Labour Party Conference for instance, ConstructionSkills co-hosted a debate on the subject of “Closing the skills gaps”. Economic Secretary and City Minister Ed Balls chaired the debate with Phil Hope giving a keynote speech alongside ConstructionSkills Chief Executive Peter Lobban and a TUC representative.

By inviting construction industry employers and stakeholders, we ensured that the debate focussed on the construction industry and we were able to communicate a wide range of key messages about the needs of the industry, industry successes and new initiatives. It is through this ministerial support that we gain backing on issues such as Levy consensus.

On the ground Phil has also been out and about, meeting people and supporting events – such as the Skillbuild Final 2006.

Skillbuild helps to promote careers in construction to young people as it champions the best talent in the country through a massive regional competition. Spending the afternoon meeting the young apprentices – many from ConstructionSkills’ own apprenticeship division – Phil lent his support once again to help raise the profile of what we do to support the image and recruitment of craft apprenticeships.

And on the 27th November last year, Phil attended the opening of the first site of the National Skills Academy for Construction – a new, employer-led, site-based approach to construction training – at a major launch at a Bovis Lend Lease site in the City of London, also attended by Secretary of State for Education and Skills, Alan Johnson.

Phil ended 2006 by attending The Skills for Business London 2012 Infrastructure and Facilities Cluster Group conference on 13th December. The event brought together key stakeholders in both Government and industry to confirm the built environment sector’s shared vision for meeting the Olympic build skills challenge.

We hope that 2007 is going to offer even more opportunities for key players to support ConstructionSkills and the industry’s skills agenda – as we step even closer to meeting the targets set out in our Sector Skills Agreement.

To keep up to date with all the latest news on what ConstructionSkills is doing and discover how your company can get involved in helping secure the future of the UK construction industry register for the Skills Update

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