Holyrood Candidates Support Building Regulation and Skills Development at CICV Forum Hustings


Holyrood Candidates Support Building Regulation and Skills Development at CICV Forum Hustings



Regulation of the construction industry is essential for a safer and more productive future, electoral hopes of Scotland’s main political parties said in a special digital campaign organized by the Construction Industry Coronavirus Forum (CICV Forum).

The importance of skills and training in the industry was also the subject of a unanimous multi-party agreement of the panelists during the event organized online this week.

Support for reform of procurement practices and a review of VAT on domestic repairs were other positive talking points – supporting the Forum own manifesto suggestions to find ways to improve the industry.

The jostling, outfits via webinar on Tuesday April 27, presented five candidates currently threatened with elections to the Scottish Parliament:

  • Carole Ford, Scottish Liberal Democrats
  • Monica Lennon, Scottish Labor
  • Laura Moodie, Scottish Greens
  • Alexander Stewart, Scottish Conservative and Unionist
  • Kevin Stewart, SNP

Responding to questions from senior Forum representatives and members of a selected audience, all panelists agreed that regulation is essential for the future of the construction industry.

Kevin Stewart said: “We should all aim to improve standards and safety and to build confidence in the people who work every day. Why is a security guard a regulated professional while a plumber is not?

“We need to have a real debate on regulatory issues and consensus on how to move forward with regulation. The Grenfell Inquiry highlights the need to regulate the professions to ensure the safety of people and to instill public confidence in construction work.

Ms Ford agreed, saying, “The main purpose of professional regulation is to protect the public, maintain high standards, and protect qualifications and standards in the industry.

“Cowboys do no favor to those who are properly qualified, so we are fully committed to whatever measures would support consumers and protect professional standards and qualifications, and fully in favor of a well-regulated construction industry and respected who has the public trust. “

Ms Lennon was also in favor of the regulation, who said: “It is important that skilled tradespeople are recognized for their experience and skills, which means that the public will have confidence in who comes to their home or place. of work.

“It makes sense to give people confidence in their work and make them work safely and be proud of what they do, so we fully support measures to improve regulation and improve public safety.

Training and learning “ of vital importance ”

The importance of skills, training and learning in the sector was another topic on which all panelists fully agreed.

Alexander Stewart said: “Economic growth is the cornerstone of this recovery, and construction plays a critical role in this. Learning skills and training is vitally important and we fundamentally believe there should be more funding.

“We want to bring people back and attract more new people to the industry and ensure that women have more opportunities to get more involved. We also want economic growth, which will only require investments in training and support mechanisms. “

Ms Lennon confirmed: “Jobs are at the top and core of our manifesto and our vision for the next five years is a roadmap to recovery that focuses on skills – skills building, retraining and how whose we can help local authorities hire apprentices and use a talented workforce in Scotland to renovate homes to tackle fuel poverty and create new jobs in construction and industry. “

Supply “ a bugbear that must be solved ”

Questions about procurement reform had been raised by several Forum members ahead of the campaign – and again, the five panelists strongly believed that change was needed.

Ms Moodie said: “We believe that public procurement could be a real growth stimulus for local small businesses that are socially and environmentally responsible and we are committed to reforming the procurement requirements that could meet them.

“We want to make sure Scottish companies seize more supply chain opportunities, especially with the rise of the growing renewable energy industry and I think there is a lot to be done in terms of accessibility and use of online procurement tools. We would also like to see more support for small companies so that they can compete on an equal footing with large companies in terms of tendering for works. “

Mr Stewarts agreed that public sector procurement should focus on ‘best value for money, not cost’ – a key component of manifesto published last month by SELECT member of the Forum.

Ms Lennon added: “Purchasing is simply a pet peeve that needs to be addressed and there are huge opportunities around local engagement and low carbon innovation. SMEs are the lifeblood of our economy and we will reorient purchasing to make sure it works for businesses in Scotland. “

VAT rules “ a burden for businesses ”

The forum manifesto proposals to mitigate the imposition of VAT on home repairs, innovations and green energy projects, won the support of all applicants.

Ms Moodie said it was a “burden on businesses” as they tried to grow and grow, while Ms Lennon said any change would open up many opportunities.

Ms Ford agreed, adding: “The current VAT system is regressive and slows down demand for vital energy efficiency upgrades and modernizations.”

Kevin Stewart also agreed, adding that VAT was not a decentralized issue, but that he wanted it reduced or removed for renovation repairs and regeneration projects.

Houses “ must be fit for purpose ”

The panelists also responded to a member of the public’s point that a recent survey found 52% of homes are not wind and water tight, with £ 3.8bn spent annually on their repair and maintenance.

Ms Ford responded that in the West of Scotland the issue of factoring in building needs was being considered as well as that of landlord responsibilities, stating: “The Edinburgh solution has its own problems, but owners and responsibilities of multi-occupancy buildings need to be reviewed. “

Kevin Stewart spoke of “educating people” about the importance of wind and water tight properties and the need to be ambitious to help more, while the namesake Alexander added: “Houses must be adapted to their needs and it is necessary to invest in the sector. . “

Praise for “ collective expertise ”

Finally, there was another thing on which all the panelists agreed: the excellent work of the CICV Forum.

The unique collective was formed in early March 2020 in response to the urgent threat of COVID-19 and now includes 29 leading construction trade and professional associations.

Alexander Stewart said: “It is so important that the Forum is at the table because you have boots on the ground and are working closely together to put the plans in place. All the ideas in the CICV Forum manifesto are very good and we will help you realize them.

Ms Ford agreed, saying, “The level of detail in the CICV Forum documents is only possible because of your collective expertise. Working together has generated much better documentation than if it were done by a single organization. “

Kevin Stewart added, “The Forum has been at the forefront of promoting safe work and may it be long at the table with government. I would especially like to pay tribute to the construction character Campbell who was used to promote messaging through your clever use of social media. “

The forum’s actions include lobbying the Scottish Government to influence policy and push for affirmative action, as well as providing expert advice on important sectoral issues including trade, employment, planning, skills and health and safety.

Hustings ‘a smash hit’

The hustings format is the result of Gordon Nelson, Scottish Director of the Federation of Master Builders, a key member of the Forum.

He said: “From the feedback we received from the industry, it was clear that the turmoil event was a resounding success and generated a multitude of constructive and stimulating responses from our panelists.

“It has also proven that construction is at the heart of Scotland’s recovery and that all parties are committed to rebuilding together and investing in a safer, fully skilled industry that will benefit the whole country.”



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