Weekly Events Blog : 18 July | IPT

Retrofitting the UK’s Housing Stock

On Tuesday 18 July 2023 the Industry and Parliament Trust (IPT) hosted a breakfast event for parliamentarians and industry representatives on ‘Retrofitting the UK’s Housing Stock’. This discussion was chaired by Natalie Elphicke OBE MP, Member of Levelling Up, Housing and Communities Select Committee, with guest speakers Professor John Edwards, Director of Edwards Hart Consultants, Fellow of The Chartered Institute Of Building and Matthew Jupp, Principal for Mortgages Policy, UK Finance. The event discussed the best approaches to retrofitting the UK housing stock and how to meet skill demands.

Key discussion points:

  • Retrofitting skills are vital, training is needed to help contractors understand how to deal with issues in existing building such as damp and mould. There are sources of advice when it comes to making listed and heritage buildings more economical to run, such as Historic England.
  • Retrofitting can be applied to a part of a house – does not require a complete rebuild and EPC ratings do not give an accurate forecast of retrofit requirements e.g., investing in double glazing for example may not be enough to improve your EPC but could help reduce bills.
  • Nearly every building can (with the correct expertise) benefit from the retrofit process, the variation is in the extent of work they will need, and a risk-based approach should be used.
  • Mortgage lenders need to support the retrofit ‘revolution’ and can create products to entice homeowners to make those decisions with green mortgages etc, however must be careful not to leave those with financial constraints behind and find a way to reach homeowners who don’t have a mortgage.
  • Repackage retrofit as ‘warming homes’ and ‘reducing bills’ to ensure everybody is on board, even those who aren’t particularly focussed on environmental issues.

Online Phishing: Tackling Cyber Threats

On Tuesday 18 July 2023 the Industry and Parliament Trust (IPT) hosted a dinner event for parliamentarians and industry representatives on ‘Online Phishing: Tackling Cyber Threats’. This discussion was chaired by Patrick Grady MP, Vice-Chair of the Artificial Intelligence All-Party Parliamentary Group, with guest speakers Mark Jackson, National Cybersecurity Advisor at Cisco, Katharina Sommer, Group Head of Corporate Strategy & Public Affairs for NCC Group and Professor Daniel Prince, Professor of Cyber Security at Lancaster University.

Key discussion points:

  • We should make a collaborative effort to increase the diversity pool in cyber, embed cyber skills at a young age and create pathways to develop cyber leaders who aren’t necessarily from a STEM background.
  • Despite the media attention on new challenges such as AI, there are other long-term threats that industry must address.
  • Local governments need to place cyber higher up their priority list. Big industry also needs to ensure that their supply chain is cyber secure.
  • Multi-factor authentication and ‘patching’ can increase security, for example ensuring that automatic updates make our tech safer.
  • There are questions about what the UK can learn lessons from abroad. For example in the US and Belgium where law enforcement are working with the private sector.
  • A big challenge is the fragmentation of cyber initiatives across the UK – how do we bring this together?