Chief Secretary to the Treasury, The Rt Hon David Gauke MP

Investment in the people who will deliver the first ever National Infrastructure Delivery Plan for the UK.

We’ve done a lot to help the next generation of people in construction get the skills they need.

Our strategy for increasing productivity in government construction will see us support 20,000 new apprentices as they learn the skills of the modern trade.

And as you may have heard, we’re now taking forward a fundamental reform of the technical education our young people have open to them, which I think will make a real difference in the number of talented people we get coming through to work on all our big infrastructure plans.

But I also don’t want to focus just on government’s investment.

Because enabling private sector investment is just as critical.

We need companies investing in their staff.

And that includes helping to shape the training that is available - and let me pay tribute to the CPA’s own role in this – because Diana [Montgomery – Chief Executive] has been doing great work in leading this industry’s development of our National Infrastructure Plan for Skills.

On that note, I’d like to encourage everyone in the room who is paying the apprenticeship levy to get involved in making sure that the apprenticeships are really geared up to the skills you will be relying on as this industry evolves.

But it’s also about private sector investment in the projects themselves.

Because you were asking us to do much more to encourage investors.

So that’s what we did – establishing a guarantee scheme of up to £40 billion – which is already behind some of the new things we’re now seeing built.

And we’ve also made sure the UK is a top choice for international investors through both our stable and balanced regulatory environment, and our competitive tax regime.

In fact, Nabarro’s 2015 Infrastructure Index judged the UK the number one country for attracting private sector investment.

So we’ve made our planning better, and we’ve got more investment coming into both British skills and British infrastructure projects.

Chief Secretary to the Treasury, The Rt Hon David Gauke MP, Speaking at the Construction Products Association Spring Lunch

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