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B&ES president highlights commitment to innovation and improvement

B&ES president Jim Marner has underlined the key role the Building & Engineering Services Association plays – and will continue to play – in addressing “the challenges of an increasingly demanding marketplace”.

Speaking at the Association’s President’s Luncheon, which was held at One Whitehall place in London on 9 September, Mr Marner confirmed its crucial role in providing “guidance, support and leadership” to ensure that UK construction remained “wholly fit for purpose” – while at the same time reducing its costs and remaining profitable.

He said: “We live and work in an ever more globalised marketplace in which initiative, innovation and continuous improvement are essential to our prosperity and survival – and in which fair dealing and security of payment are crucial to the strength and stability of the supply chain.”

He added that it was the duty of any responsible industry organisation to establish and maintain quality, promote co-operation, collaboration and teamwork, and ensure that its members provided “the best possible service to their customers and clients”.

It was inevitable that much of the association’s focus was on commercial matters – on the damaging effects of late payment, the elimination of waste, the maximisation of efficiency, competitiveness and “smarter working”, and the reintroduction of partnering arrangements, negotiated contracts, two-stage tendering and preferred supply chain agreements.

“But they also address the growing importance of education and training at every level of the workforce in ensuring that we recruit and retain the required calibre and number of highly skilled and highly motivated individuals,” Mr Marner reminded his audience.

Nor did they ignore the fierce debate that continues to surround energy efficiency, the reduction of carbon emissions from buildings and the creation of a genuinely sustainable built environment.

“There has been some concern over the recent evidence of a potential weakening of resolve on the part of the UK government in its commitment to the creation of a low-carbon economy,” he acknowledged.

“But we remain absolute in our own commitment to the development of sustainable building services, to the integration of renewable and environmental technologies in buildings – and to the achievement of emission reduction targets that will place the UK in the vanguard of the environmental revolution,” the president insisted.

Mr Marner added that one of the first duties of his presidential year had been to confirm the appointment of Paul McLaughlin in the role of B&ES chief executive – in the certain knowledge that “his broad commercial experience and his expertise in trade association management at the highest level will provide additional drive, energy and vigour to every aspect of the Association’s activities”.

He concluded: “You may rest assured, therefore, that the Building & Engineering Services Association is able, willing and determined to manage the changes that the future will inevitably bring – so that neither its members, nor the industry at large, will miss out on the opportunities they will present.”

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