The Electrical Contractors’ Association (ECA) has welcomed the appointment of several new ministers to key government positions, claiming that the new appointments have the potential to positively impact the electrical and wider construction industry in both the short term and long term.
The ECA pointed out that the appointment of Mark Prisk as housing minister is particularly welcome given his previous portfolio as construction minister.
Steve Bratt, ECA group CEO, commented, “Mr Prisk’s background in construction should mean he will understand the issues affecting our sector. We trust he will introduce measures to get ‘shovel ready’ housing projects off the ground and incentivise new building. The news that the government is launching a £10bn housing package, unlocking 75,000 stalled homes under construction – is very positive. And we hope it is the shape of things to come.”
Commenting on the move of John Hayes to energy minister, Bratt added, “We hope he will value the role of businesses installing small scale renewables. We look to him to support SMEs by encouraging the adoption of these carbon cutting technologies, which will create vital work opportunities.”
The ECA hopes that Mr Hayes’ replacement as skills minister, Matthew Hancock, will support quality industry training. He said “We understand with Mr Hancock’s background on the Public Accounts Committee, that he will seek to ensure greater value for money from the skills budget. We support this focus. However, this must not affect funding for courses that deliver the qualifications that industry wants. These will ensure we have the top talent to work for years to come and give young people a real chance to build a lifelong career.”
The ECA also hopes that the new minister responsible for Building Regulations, Don Foster, will build on the legacy left by his predecessor Andrew Stunell.
Bratt continued, “Mr Stunell showed leadership on linking Building Regulations compliance with carbon reduction. We hope Mr Foster will continue this push, and work with industry bodies like the ECA. These representatives could partner with local authorities to help encourage and ensure that the Building Regulations are properly adhered to.
“We hope that the new minister will also see merit in our idea to make it mandatory for electrical contracting firms to register under a Part P certification scheme. This will help ensure that all electricians working in the domestic market are suitably competent to do so. We also believe that this will raise public awareness of what constitutes a competent electrician, in much the same way Gas Safe has done for gas engineers.”