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New engineering services alliance, Actuate UK, to champion change and collaboration

A new alliance for the multi-billion UK engineering services sector launched this week via a virtual industry event.

 

Actuate UK is an alliance of eight leading trade, technology, research and professional bodies in engineering services. It will deliver a single, consolidated voice for the sector.

As an agent for positive change, Actuate UK supports the delivery of a safer, more productive and sustainable UK built environment. Together with others in the industry, the UK Government and the Devolved Nations, Actuate UK will play a key role by supporting essential national initiatives. Initiatives such as the Construction Leadership Council’s Recovery Roadmap, the Construction Playbook and strategic economic plans in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, Building Safety reform and the drive for Zero Net Carbon.

It will lead the sector’s response to the Building Safety agenda and post-COVID Green Recovery, providing direction and championing the wider culture changes needed in the industry for their successful delivery.

Andy Mitchell CBE, co-chair of the Construction Leadership Council and CEO of Thames Tideway Tunnel, said: “I would like to welcome Actuate UK, the new engineering services sector alliance which is being launched today to bring collaboration and a coherent voice to a key part of our industry.

'Our industry has seen a lot of change over this past year, and the most positive change is the way that it has come together in dealing with the pandemic. Through the efforts of many in the industry, the Construction Leadership Council has achieved a lot that deals with the here and now, and whilst this isn’t over yet we can, and are turning our attentions to the future – one that is better, stronger and very ambitious with regard to what society needs of us. This means safer buildings and net zero target - two big issues that we have to get on top of - and it is clear that the engineering services sector has a big role to play in both of these. I very much look forward to the vital role that Actuate UK can and must play in moving this industry forward.”

Construction Minister Anne-Marie Trevelyan said: “Cutting emissions, turbo-charging productivity and maintaining staunch safety standards should be right at the heart of the UK build environment sector’s work. This new alliance will support those crucial ambitions, helping the industry build back better and greener.

“I look forward to working with the alliance through the Construction Leadership Council, as we examine the issues and opportunities facing the sector and wider economy.”

Jamie Hepburn MSP, Minister for Business, Fair Work and Skills in Scottish Government also welcomed Actuate UK: “We are using all the powers we have to rebuild a stronger, more resilient and sustainable economy for Scotland – with a laser focus on creating new, good, green jobs.

“Engineering is a key sector for Scotland’s economy, supporting a variety of skilled occupations within the industry. It’s great to see Actuate UK delivering a host of important activities including skills and training, whilst supporting the delivery of a safer, more productive, and sustainable built environment, and I look forward to working with them as their work progresses.”

Ann Bentley, member of the CLC and Global Chairman of Rider Levett Bucknall added: “The challenges for the industry are clear – to construct, repair and maintain sustainable buildings and infrastructure that work for the end-users, are good value for those paying for them, and that help us meet our net zero carbon aspirations. We must also recognise our industry’s obligations to communities and, therefore, the enormous role we have in meeting all these challenges.

It is great to see such a widely representative group of Engineering Services organisations and their member companies coming together with such focus on changing things for the better.”

Actuate UK consists of:

· The Building Engineering and Services Association (BESA)

· The Building Services Research and Information Association (BSRIA)

· The Chartered Institution of Building Services Engineers (CIBSE)

· ECA - Electrical and Engineering Services

· The Federation of Environmental Trade Associations (FETA)

· The Lift and Escalator Industry Association (LEIA)

· SELECT – the Electrical Contractors’ Association of Scotland

· The Scottish and NI Plumbing Employers’ Federation (SNIPEF)

The eight organisations bring a broad range of technical, practical and commercial expertise to focus on four strategically important themes – skills, building safety, carbon reduction and commercial issues in 2021.

Steve Bratt, chief executive of ECA said: “If we are to build back better, faster and greener, maximising the potential of engineering services is critical. I am therefore delighted that the engineering services sector is coming together, right across the supply chain, to speak with one voice and ensure we play our part.”

Julia Evans, chief executive of BSRIA said: “To stand any chance of resolving the climate change emergency we need to act together now. Actuate UK brings the best in the sector together to focus on the issues crucial to the industry and contribute in partnership to resolving the big issues of the day.”

Alan Wilson, managing director of SELECT, the Electrical Contractors’ Association of Scotland, said: 'SELECT was a very keen and active participant in the work of the SEC Group both at UK but especially at Scottish level. We look forward to working with our colleagues in the new Actuate UK body as it broadens its footprint across a whole host of activities linked to our members’ work.”

David Frise chief executive of the Building Engineering Services Association (BESA) says: “Engineering services make a building work, they bring it to life. And where ninety percent of people spend ninety percent of their time in a building, it is crucial for the economy and the physical and mental health of our citizens that buildings are safe and work properly.”

Stephen Matthews, chief executive of CIBSE said: “CIBSE looks forward to working more closely with our colleagues in Actuate UK to lead change in the engineering services sector to deliver safer buildings and economic renewal whilst reducing the carbon impact of our infrastructure and buildings.”

Russell Beattie, chief executive of FETA, commented: “I am extremely pleased to see this longstanding aspiration come to fruition. There are numerous challenges to be faced and closer collaboration can only be a positive step as we drive forward together to achieve meaningful change.”

Fiona Hodgson, chief executive of SNIPEF, said: “SNIPEF campaigns on a wide variety of issues on behalf of member companies, with a focus on critical changes needed to create a resilient and sustainable construction sector.

“Actuate UK will give a welcome boost to our work in many areas and we look forward to working together, closely, and productively, in the future, not least in relation to the substantial amount of work undertaken by Scotland’s Construction Industry Coronavirus (CICV) Forum throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.”

 

10 February 2021

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BESA National Conference – Virtual event