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Former contracting boss named as CBI president

Former construction leader Paul Drechsler has been confirmed as the next president of the CBI.

Drechsler, who was chief executive of contractor Wates for eight years to 2014 and has been honoured for services to the industry, was endorsed as the next leader of the influential business lobby group at its annual general meeting.

He succeeds BT chairman Sir Mike Rake at the helm of the CBI, and pledged to make skills a key focus of his reign.

Drechsler said: “It is a great honour to be appointed CBI president at this important time for the UK economy.

“I’m looking forward to getting my feet under the desk, helping to power productivity and making sure our young people get the right education and skills to help them succeed in the economy of the 21st Century. We also want to see a stronger UK at the top table of a reformed European Union and to help people in all parts of the country feel the real benefits of growth.

“The CBI will have an important role to play in shaping well-informed public debate on business issues. I look forward to carrying Sir Mike’s work forward, and to working with all my new colleagues to make sure the voice of business continues to be plainly heard.”

Drechsler is currently chairman of both the National Skills Funding Agency and charity Teach First.

In February, he was made commander of the order of the British empire (CBE) for services to the construction industry.

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