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31 October 2012
The National Federation of Builders (NFB) has given a broad welcome to the Heseltine Review.
NFB chief executive Julia Evans said: “The proposals contained in Lord Heseltine's Review could give a shot in the arm to the economy if the government is brave enough to implement even a fraction of what is suggested.
“We particularly welcome proposals to increase the resources available to local enterprise partnerships and to make it easier for employers to offer work experience and work placements.
“For trade federations this report offers both challenge and opportunity. It lends impetus to the drive to improve standards, increase influence and enable the clear voice of industry to be heard. It rightly suggests building on the excellent work already being done the Trade Association Forum, which is fully supported by the NFB.
“The NFB remains cautious about the proposal that there should be a lead body for each sector. The history of independent UK trade bodies is different from the more formalised model of trade associations seen in Europe. Within an industry as diverse as construction there is no single opinion and the variety of trade bodies we see today have arisen organically as a result of the substantial diversity within the industry.
“The industry should always strive to present as coherent and streamlined a voice as possible, and there have significant progress in this direction; the NFB has played a leading part in developing the role of the Construction Alliance, which has allowed for more strategic representation while preserving a diversity of voices. Further efforts can be made in this direction, but we should be wary of a pruning of viewpoints which might deprive government of the rich perspective it needs to be fully informed and avoid skewing its policy towards certain sectors of the industry.”