The Institution of Civil Engineers (ICE) has formed a group to advise politicians during the Brexit period on key issues affecting the sector.
In a blog post on the ICE website, president Sir John Armitt said he had established a leadership group so that the industry speaks with one voice. It will also feed into the work the Royal Academy of Engineering is doing in terms of Brexit.
Armitt said: “The group will gather expert knowledge, data and evidence on what it agrees are the fundamental issues facing the sector, and provide compelling evidence based briefings to negotiators. It will liaise with politicians and civil servants and appoint other industry experts to assist them.”
The group will give the information to MP Oliver Letwin’s Brexit unit in the Cabinet Office.
Sir John will chair the group, which also includes Amanda Clack, head of infrastructure advisory at EY; Richard Laudy, head of infrastructure at law firm Pinsent Masons; Andrew Wolstenholme, co-chair of the Construction Leadership Council; Mike Putnam, Skanska chief executive; Aecom’s Geoff French; BSI director of standards Scott Steedman; and KMPG’s global infrastructure chair James Stewart.
In the blog post, Armitt looks at the possible impact on Brexit, the most serious being that of skilled labour.
He said: “UK infrastructure businesses employ many thousands of EU citizens and rely on the ability to bring in specialist skills. The construction sector also depends on a transitory EU workforce. We have some major projects in the future pipeline, but industry also needs to be confident that it can get hold of the skills needed for the work in the pipeline over the next few years. It needs this assurance now.”
Like many in the infrastructure sector, he would like to see swift decisions taken on big infrastructure projects to provide investors with more stability, citing the National Infrastructure Development Plan’s point that private investment is needed to deliver these projects. He said: “This means it (the Government) must visibly step up and reassert its commitment to infrastructure. It must progress core projects and programmes, drive the NIDP forwards, and not duck out of taking bold, strategic decisions on issues that are vital to the UK’s competitiveness and show we remain open for business. The airport expansion decision is a case in point.”
This piece was originally published on the Institution of Civil Engineers’ Infrastructure Blog.