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24th March 2017
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Welcome to the
Well it’s been another week of surprises when it comes to politics, hasn’t it? We’d barely had time to recover from the thought of Boris’s potential performance as Foreign Secretary, when we learned that the Department of Energy & Climate Change is to be scrapped and that Justine Greening has been appointed Secretary of State for Education with responsibility for apprenticeships.
The Federation of Master Builders believes – as I do – that Theresa May’s decision to scrap the DECC is alarming as it signals that improving the energy efficiency of our existing buildings has been pushed ever-further down the list of Government priorities.
Brian Berry, chief executive of the FMB, says: “Three years ago Cameron told his officials to ‘cut the green crap’ and May has taken this further still by dissolving DECC. This means that there will be no Cabinet-level Minister championing climate change issues, which is bound to result in less emphasis and less action. Andrea Leadsom’s appointment as Secretary of State for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs provides little solace when you consider that she has regularly voted against measures to tackle climate change in the past. This matters because for May’s newly-formed Government to side-line its green policies, would be to sacrifice their numerous economic benefits.
“May should make improving our existing buildings an infrastructure investment priority as the knock-on benefits for jobs and growth are enormous. A programme to make British buildings more energy efficient would generate £8.7 billion of net benefits and unlike large infrastructure projects, is not at the mercy of the lengthy and protracted planning process – it could start tomorrow.”
“We welcome the appointment of Justine Greening as Secretary of State for Education with responsibility for skills and apprentices, which previously came under the Department for Business, Innovation & Skills. We hope that she continues the good work of Nick Boles in improving the quality of apprenticeships, which will in turn help elevate their status so that they are recognised by society as of equal worth to university degrees. Greening has a solid background in transport and treasury briefs which will no doubt help her understand the importance of having a properly skilled construction workforce.
“As we face the prospect of Brexit, combating the construction skills crisis has never been more important.”
I couldn’t agree more…
15th July 2016