Is Theresa May Good for Construction?
Senior figures in the industry have given the thumbs up to Theresa May becoming the new Prime Minister.
The swift resolution to the uncertainty of the Conservative Party leadership and hence who will lead the country in the wake of the referendum has been welcomed by industry, though Theresa May’s stance on issues that will impact on construction and infrastructure are largely unknown.
Theresa May, 59, has been home secretary since 2010 and was also minister of women and equalities from 2010 to 2012. She held shadow cabinet positions and has represented the Maidenhead constituency since it was created in 1997. She was also the first female chairman of the Conservative Party, holding the position in 2002 and 2003.
Alasdair Reisner, chief executive of the Civil Engineering Contractors Association, said: “A priority for UK industry is a stable government and economy. As such, Theresa May’s likely appointment as prime minister is welcome as it provides certainty instead of indecision during a long leadership election.
“It is now time for the government to get back to the day job of running the country, investing in the growth that will protect the economy from the headwinds that have risen since the referendum. There are major decisions to be made now on large infrastructure projects – it is time for our new prime minister to show that the UK is open for business again.”
Simon Girling, national chair of the National Federation of Builders, also welcomed the certainty May and a new prime minster would bring.
“The sooner we have some semblance of stability the better,” he said. “That way we can get back to focusing on building the homes our country needs, developing home-grown talent and doing this while securing the best value for taxpayers’ money.”
Brian Berry, chief executive of the Federation of Master Builders said that he was encouraged by Theresa May's appointment as from a construction industry perspective, Theresa May’s experience at the very highest levels of Government – is just what is needed at a time of economic uncertainty.
He added that while he was also encouraged by to hear Theresa May already commit to increasing house building during her time as Prime Minister, there were uncertainties in other areas.
"Our biggest reservation would be that, as Home Secretary, Theresa May raised the bar incredibly high for skilled non-EU migrants attempting to enter the country. With a new immigration settlement likely to be introduced as part of our departure from the EU, current policy would most probably exclude the talented tradespeople our sector desperately needs. There’s a real danger Brexit could exacerbate this country’s construction skills crisis and we would urge Theresa May to develop a responsive system of immigration that satisfies the needs of the construction industry.”
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