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Public procurement to push change

Kevin Brennan, minister for the new department for Business Innovation & Skills has reiterated Government determination to use public procurement to change industry practices.

Mr Brennan spoke at the All Party Building Services Engineering Group, held in the House of Commons yesterday in one of his first engagements in the role.

The Government has created the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills to build Britain’s capabilities to compete in the global economy.

The Department has been formed by merging BERR and DIUS.

“We will use public procurement more in the near future. Traditionally It has not been used enough to help meet industry needs, such as incentivising companies to train,” said Mr Brennan.

“But we are seeing requirements on Olympics and Building Schools for the Future contracts to hire apprentices and this will expand. We are committed to using the huge pubic expenditure of £175bn per year to push further action.”

Mr Brennan added that it was appropriate that he was speaking on the same day as Gordon Brown unveiled the Building Britain’s Future initiative and said his key priority was supporting businesses through the downturn.

“We need to look to the future and the skills that will be needed,” he said.

“Our future economy will look very different, we have an aging population and will have a low carbon economy. Environmental industries are expected to grow 45 per cent in the next 10 years, so we will need to sharpen our skills in this area.”