Meeting at No. 10 Downing Street

Annie Summun met today with the Prime Minister’s Skills Advisor.

As a member of the London Board of the Federation of Master Builders (FMB), Annie joined four other FMB members today at No. 10 Downing Street to meet Hannah Cook, Skills Advisor to Theresa May. The group also included Brian Berry, Chief Executive of the FMB, and Sarah McMonagle, Director of External Affairs at the FMB.

It was an opportunity for the views of small and medium sized businesses (SMEs) within the construction industry to be heard by the government, particularly about the skills shortage in the industry and the impact that it is having on the ability to meet the government targets for the building of new houses.

Annie contributed fully on all topics that were discussed, but wished to emphasise the need to inspire more women into construction. The statistics show that less than 10% in the industry are women and of that only 2% are tradespeople. As part of International Women’s Day, the FMB had commissioned some research and found that almost one third of home owners would feel more positive about hiring a female builder or tradesperson to complete a task in their home. But interestingly, 30% fewer would encourage their daughter to pursue a career in construction. So we need to look at promoting the industry to both men and women as one way of helping to alleviate the skills shortage.

A range of other topics were also discussed, which included:

  • Construction skills shortage
  • Apprenticeship standards
  • Apprenticeship Levy
  • T-levels in construction
  • Retraining people from other professions
  • Post Brexit immigration system
  • CITB reform.