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ACE chief: 'We already have an industry confederation'

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Association for Consultancy and Engineering (ACE) chief executive Nelson Ogunshakin this week hit back at Mark Whitby's call for the creation of a confederation to represent all engineering interests.

'I can tell Mark that such an organisation already exists and that organisation is ACE, ' said Ogunshakin. 'With over 800 member firms, large and small, operating across many different disciplines, we are the leading corporate voice for the sector.'

Last week Whitby called for 'complacent' institutions to have their charitable status removed and for a new engineering confederation to be set up, similar to the Confederation of British Industry (News, NCE, April 26).

Ogunshakin, who is also a fellow of the ICE, said that while he shared Whitby's vision for the unifi cation of the engineering institutions as a collective force for the development and recognition of the profession, they could not, however, undertake a corporate lobbying role as it was contrary to their charitable and learned status.

'The institutions have their own distinct role and we have ours, ' Ogunshakin said. 'We are run by business for business and as such we recognise the corporate challenges facing companies and have the means to address them. My message to those firms not currently involved with ACE is to get on board and be part of the leading voice for consultancy and engineering. That way, we could secure a more powerful lobbying position to engage key stakeholders on issues affecting our business interests.' Whitby said he would like to see the ACE achieve the same success the CBI has. 'I would love to see it become the engineers' CBI, but at the moment it doesn't have a single mechanic and it is sad if it thinks that it is an equivalent. My point is that we can all do better, ' he said.

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