Speaking to an audience of more than 500 guests at the Construction Products Association’s Autumn Lunch, CPA chairman, Bill Bolsover laid out his vision of the future and for all parts of the construction industry to pull together to create a single effective voice, as this was, he said, the only way to ensure the industry would maximise its influence and speed the UK economic recovery.
Despite the size and importance of the industry, which collectively represents nearly 10% of GDP and employs more than two million people, there was still no one effective body which could speak on behalf of the whole industry.
This is at a time when construction was recognised by government as the key to economic growth, which would deliver the low carbon economy of the future, create the infrastructure to improve business competitiveness, build the energy capacity in both nuclear and renewables, as well as provide the housing to meet the rapid increase in population the country is facing.
Mr Bolsover said: “I am very proud of what the Construction Products Association achieves on behalf of its members, but the one thing that members regularly raise with me is the need for the whole construction industry to have a more effective and co-ordinated voice to government.
“I am therefore asking you all to play your part in persuading others across the construction industry of the need to pool our resources, our thinking and our influence. To create a platform – a kind of ‘Construction Industry Association’ – a body that government at the highest level will want to engage with because it knows that it is talking to the whole industry and to the people that matter.
“Some people across the industry will say we need to find a common agenda. Perhaps those people haven’t read the Association’s latest Construction Forecasts – decline in output this year; even greater decline in 2012; and no start of any recovery until 2014. And, it’s hard to find anyone who seriously disagrees with these predictions,” Mr Bolsover stated.
“I believe we are at a crossroads. Europe will only emerge from the current crisis if it stands together. The UK construction industry’s best chance of succeeding in the future is if we unite together. And my aim before my term as chairman of this association ends is to set the construction industry on this road to a united industry.”