Construction offers key to big society plan

Aaron Morby 13 years ago
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Major contractors have opened another front in the battle for continued Government support for construction.

The latest campaign aimed at the Government goes beyond highlighting direct economic returns and now spells out how construction feeds into local communities and contributes to “big society”.

The campaign to win over hearts and minds in Westminster is being spearhead by the UK Contractors Group and has in its sights work and pensions secretary Ian Duncan Smith.

Contractors have been buoyed by the success of lobbying efforts to protect investment on key infrastructure projects during the Comprehensive Spending Review.

The latest Government push will highlight how construction training is helping to deliver 21st century skills, reduces re-offending by retraining wayward youngsters and tackles social exclusion.

The UKCG also aims to cast the spotlight on the big benefits construction delivers in the realms of cutting waste from landfill, delivering better education and building sustainable and cohesive communities.

Stephen Ratcliffe, director of UKCG, said: “We are circulating it widely to politicians as part of the campaign backing public sector investment and hope to engage with Ian Duncan Smith’s team on how we can deliver some solutions to help welfare reform.”

James Wates, chairman of the UK Contractors Group, said: “UKCG and the CBI have spent the past year highlighting the enormous contribution construction makes to the UK economy, but that is not the whole story.

“Our impact on society goes much wider than the pure economic one.”

He  added: “This is a story that needs to get across loud and clear. It is important that decision maker recognise our role at a time when the big society is taking on increasing political significance.

“Moreover, it shows for every pound spent on construction there is more than an economic return of £2.84.”

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