Autumn 2018: October events roundup | IPT

Following the conclusion of Summer and Conference recesses, we restarted our event programme in mid-October. Our events spanned a wide range of topical policy issues, providing a trusted, non-lobbying and non-partisan platform where parliamentarians and experts in industry can discuss these issues and learn from each other.

Common topics in our events were: ensuring that the national infrastructure sees the investment it needs to deliver for people throughout the United Kingdom; preparing for leaving the European Union; equipping people with the technical skills necessary in an ever changing and digital world.

 

Laying down the foundations

On Wednesday 17 October 2018, the Industry and Parliament Trust (IPT) hosted a dinner discussion between parliamentarians and industry representatives entitled, ‘Investing in UK Infrastructure: The Role of the Private Sector’. The discussion was chaired by Rt Hon Dame Margaret Beckett DBE MP, Chair of the Joint Committee on the National Security Strategy, and welcomed guest speakers Liv Garfield, Chief Executive Officer of Severn Trent Water, and Basil Scarsella, Chief Executive Officer of UK Power Networks.

The discussion focussed on what more can be done to insure delivery of sound and reliable infrastructure.

During the event attendees:

  • Explored the vital role infrastructure plays in a thriving UK economy as well as its social importance
  • Highlighted the position of the private sector as a key partner to public sector delivery of infrastructure through increased investment to boost innovation, pushing standards for improvements and a strong focus on value for money
  • Considered the role decarbonisation has, and will continue to have, in future infrastructure projects.

 

Constructing a plan for the future

On Tuesday 23 October, the IPT hosted a breakfast meeting between parliamentarians and industry representatives entitled ‘A UK Construction Industry Fit for the Future’. The discussion was chaired by Eddie Hughes MP, Team Parliamentary Private Secretary for the Department for Exiting the European Union, and included guest speakers Brian Berry, Chief Executive Officer of the Federation of Master Builders, and Steve Radley, Director of Policy for the Construction Industry Training Board.

The discussion focused on ways in which the construction industry and Government can work to tackle the housing crisis.

During the event:

  • Attendees discussed the importance of developing construction skills across the industry to ensure high standards among tomorrow’s workforce
  • Reviewed the progress the construction industry has made in adopting technological change, modern methods of construction and other forms of innovation
  • Considered how the recently announced construction industry sector deal will help the UK to deliver better homes and infrastructure
  • Explored the future of regulation and its impact on quality and standards for the construction industry

 

Getting creative

On Wednesday 24 October 2018, the IPT hosted a dinner discussion between parliamentarians and industry representatives entitled, ‘Shining the Spotlight Back on the UK Creative Industries’. The discussion was chaired by Sharon Hodgson MP, and welcomed guest speakers Gautam Rangarajan, Director of Strategy at the BBC, and Chief Executive of the Creative Industries Federation, Alan Bishop.

The discussion focussed on how the UK can help provide the international and domestic platform creative industries once had.

During the event attendees:

  • Explored the noticeable change in how audiences interact with creative industries, and how it is a particularly challenging time for the industry to gauge what consumers are demanding
  • Highlighted the importance of a school syllabus which fully supports creative education, and encourages arts & science to work together
  • Considered the need to have long-term support for the regions of the UK, especially for the creative industries outside of London.

 

High flying UK

On Monday 29 October 2018, the IPT hosted a dinner discussion between parliamentarians and industry representatives entitled, ‘The Industrial Strategy: Delivering an Aerospace Sector Deal’. The discussion was chaired by Mark Pawsey MP, Select Committee on Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, and welcomed Michael Ryan the President of Bombardier Aerostructures & Engineering Services.

The discussion looked at how a Sector Deal, with government and industry investment, could ensure the UK remains a world leader for aerospace.

During the event attendees:

  • Explored how the UK needs stronger cooperation between aircraft manufacturers and designers, airline businesses, airport and airspace providers, research organisations, academia and Government
  • Considered the need to develop technologies, systems, infrastructures, operations, policies and regulations to provide a foundation of a more electric, highly autonomous integrated aviation system for the future of mobility
  • Highlighted the importance of STEM careers and in attracting young people and women into the industry.

 

Breaking down the barriers

On Tuesday 30 October 2018, the IPT hosted a dinner discussion between parliamentarians and industry representatives entitled, ‘The UK’s Social Mobility: Closing the Gap’. The Rt Hon Justine Greening MP chaired the discussion and welcomed Kevin Ellis, Chairman and Senior Partner, PwC as a guest speaker.

The discussion explored the what practical steps could be taken to bring down the barriers to greater social mobility in the UK.

During the event attendees discussed:

  • How the Fourth Industrial Revolution should be embraced as an opportunity for those with skills to access the employers which need them
  • The ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach to policymaking has not benefitted all regions of the UK in the past, but cities are beginning to lead the way in providing opportunities
  • How we can end the stigma attached to apprenticeships, what effect the apprenticeships levy has had on this, and what help SMEs can receive to provide more apprenticeships
  • The importance of promoting aspiration in order to improve social mobility.

 

Energy levels

On Wednesday 31 October 2018, the IPT hosted a breakfast meeting between parliamentarians and industry representatives entitled, ‘What Lies Ahead for the Future of UK Renewable Energy?’. The discussion was chaired by Peter Aldous MP, and heard from guest speakers Professor Patricia Thornley, Professor of Sustainable Energy Systems at Aston University and Rebecca Heaton, Head of Sustainability and Policy at Drax Group. The discussion focussed on the future of the UK’s Bio-Economy and how it will be governed and supported post-Brexit.

During the event attendees:

  • Explored how the Government can best support the development in bioenergy technology, and encourage industry to use the most efficient forms of it
  • Highlighted the need for better cooperation between government and industries across the energy sector
  • Considered the potential benefits of growing biofuels, including increasing bio diversity and flood prevention.