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FM Industry Reacts to Labour Election Win

FM Industry Reacts to Labour Election Win
08 July 2024

After Keir Starmer’s Labour Party won a 172-seat majority in parliament last week, we take a look at the thoughts and reactions from the facilities management sector.


IWFM Says “Bold and Meaningful Action” in Needed to Tackle Sector Skills Shortage


Head of Policy and Research, Sofie Hooper, who compiled IWFM’s “Priorities for the next government” document, wants the incoming government to focus on the skills aspect of the agenda:

”In our government priorities paper, we spoke about the pace of digital technological change and the skills needed to optimise the opportunity the WFM sector has to contribute to the economy as a whole. 

“The growth potential within our sector has been stymied by a lack of skills as organisations cannot deliver more and better services. The pace of change, and the skills needed to harness these new opportunities for growth, are issues that should be central to the new government’s implementation of its industrial strategy. Such strategy should really bake in long-term thinking with ‘just’ transitions, which then allows businesses to play their part in building a fairer society where all can succeed.”

“Labour has spoken about its plans to broaden the Apprenticeship Levy into a ‘Growth and Skills’ Levy, with organisations able to use a percentage of their levy contributions to fund training through routes other than apprenticeships. We look forward to engaging on how this policy can be enacted to benefit our members and, crucially, encourage people to enter our sector. This flexibility is something we have long called for. We hope the new government will take bold and meaningful action to tackle the very real skill shortage in our critical sector.”

Justin Young, CEO of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors, also agreed that to meet future retrofit needs, the skills shortage in the built environment must be addressed:

“Policymakers must also address the skills shortage - otherwise the UK will be unable to deliver on its 300,000-homes-a-year target and £805 billion infrastructure pipeline. At RICS, we are calling for government departments to work together to create a Built Environment Taskforce. The body should be responsible for mapping future labour needs to meet house building, retrofit and net zero needs. This will include a review of early-years education engagement including the introduction of a Built Environment GCSE in England, and an analysis of public sector skills retention and recruitment - including shared service planning models.


The End of Uncertainty for Clean Heating Transition?


Alastair Murray, CEO of heat pump manufacturer Rendesco, is hopeful that the UK’s clean heating plans can now come to fruition:

“With such a decisive result we’re hoping that this marks the end of the persistent uncertainty which has been holding back the UK’s clean heat and constructions sectors. With some much-needed clarity, developers will confidently be able to press ahead with ambitious sustainability-led projects which are ready to go across the country.

“Labour’s pledge to spend £6.6bi llion upgrading homes and rolling out low-carbon heating, coupled with their pledge to build 1.5 million new homes by reforming Britain’s antiquated planning system, should create a positive and prosperous environment for clean heat businesses to grow and proliferate across the UK.

“It is also heartening to see Labour embark on a strategy to bring down the cost of electricity, which will ultimately lower bills for users of ground source heat networks and heat pumps in the long run. 

“The next 5 years will see the decarbonisation of heat in buildings take centre-stage and we’re confident that the election result means both businesses and consumers will be able to make the most from the transition”

Gillian Charlesworth, CEO of the Building Research Establishment (BRE), added: “I want to congratulate the Prime Minister and his government on their appointment and look forward to the implementation of ambitious manifesto pledges to decarbonise the UK economy and drive the energy transition forward."

“This Parliament begins as the UK finds itself at a major crossroads on its net zero journey. The international scientific community is clear that significant progress must be made by 2030 to reduce emissions and limit global temperature increases to 1.5°C.

“With the built environment being the UK’s second largest source of carbon emissions, it is imperative the government’s upcoming industrial strategy is delivered in close partnership with the sector to unlock and accelerate action towards the clean heat transition, improving existing housing stock and leading the way on building standards."


“Seize the Moment to Collaborate With the Facilities Management Sector” 


Simon Harris, CEO of FM provider Avrenim, believes the new government must prioritise collaboration with the FM sector:

“The new government must seize the moment to collaborate with the facilities management sector to achieve its broader objectives, particularly in reaching net-zero, decarbonising large estates, and enhancing building safety through adopting future technology and AI. Immediate actionable steps within the next 100 days are crucial to address these issues and build confidence among the business community. In doing so, I hope to see Sir Keir Starmer and his government not only prioritise the construction of new large estates but also ensure the vital upkeep of older ones. Nevertheless, with change comes new opportunities, and I now hope that this election-winning strategy will be effectively implemented.”

Picture: a photograph of Keir Starmer. Image Credit: via an Attribution 3.0 Unported (CC BY 3.0) licence:

Article written by Ella Tansley | Published 08 July 2024


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