BMF Conference: Peter Hindle MBE welcomes delegates

Published:  19 June, 2015

BMF chairman Peter Hindle MBE welcomed delegates to the 2015 BMF All-Industry Conference this morning, giving his views on apprenticeships and the state of the industry.

Peter Hindle MBE opened the 2015 BMF All-Industry Conference by welcoming the assembled delegates, and giving a brief overview of the state of the industry.

"The election was a shock to most of us but I think economic certainty, growing public confidence and a desire for stability was a key factor in the final result," he said. "Devolution is now going to be key and a big deal for the construction industry as it forces legislation and building regulations to change."

The construction industry is facing a massive skills gap across all areas, and Mr Hindle called for more work to be done to tackle this problem. While he said he has been pleased at the new government's focus on apprenticeships, and hopes this will continue, he also said the government needs to widen its remit. "Apprenticeships need to be taken seriously, but not just where tradespeople are concerned. We've heard a lot of talk about attracting new plumbers and builders, but nothing about apprentice builders' merchants - we need to encourage apprentices into more than just the vocational trades."

While Mr Hindle was positive about the future for the industry, highlighting the fact that the UK is being seen globally as a strong, emerging economy, he warned there are still dark clouds hovering over the European Union, and so things may be sluggish for those businesses who operate in the export markets. Particular questions currently surround the future role that Greece has to play, and the impact that this may have on other EU countries as a result.

In the longer-term, Mr Hindle believes sustainability will remain at the very centre of the industry as the movement continues to gather momentum.

"The market has to change as resources get more scarce. We need to create a circular economy and deal more effectively with things such as on-site waste."

Focusing on the BMF itself, Mr Hindle said it remains a great privilege to be chairman of the Federation. He urged members to talk to the BMF and explain what they want in terms of services and initiatives, to create a dialogue and a path for the Federation to take forward.

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