Ben Derbyshire, President of the RIBA, was joined by representatives from the CIOB, RICS and the Labour party at an event to discuss Brexit and the industrial strategy at the Labour Party conference in Brighton this week. He was joined by Charles Egbu, Vice President of the CIOB and Geoff White, Interim Head of UK External Affairs at RICS.
Chi Onwurah MP, Shadow Minister for the Industrial Strategy and Rt. Hon. Nick Raynsford, former Labour Minister for Construction completed the line-up, to provide the perspective from policy-makers. Both recognised the significant value of the construction industry, and of the professional services as 'world leaders'.
On Brexit, Onwurah highlighted that 'A good Brexit for the construction industry is one which retains the advantages that we have now, in terms of access to talent, and access to funding. One which shows that the UK is open for international investment, and a fully-fledged player in the global community.'
The attraction and retention of international talent was a concern also articulated by Ben Derbyshire, who reported that practices were already experiencing an impact on the availability of international talent. He argued that this could cause significant problems for delivery of ambitious housebuilding targets and infrastructure development down the line.
This reflects the findings of the RIBA’s own Brexit Survey last year, which highlighted skills and immigration as the top concern for architects post-Brexit.
However, Derbyshire also flagged that there were also opportunities for UK government in pursuing new mutual recognition of professional qualification agreements in other nations across the world.
A full report of the event can be found online here. The RIBA, RICS, CIOB and RTPI are continuing to work together to on Brexit.