Championing change and collaboration in engineering services

As Electrical and Engineering services body ECA joins a new alliance to represent the UK Engineering Services sector, Paul Reeve, ECA Director of CSR explains how this will drive change in the industry...

February saw the virtual launch of a major new alliance, Actuate UK. The alliance brings together the expertise of eight leading trade, technology, research and professional bodies in engineering services. This makes Actuate UK a strong and unified voice for the industry. 

Together, the members represent over 60,000 firms and 350,000 skilled professionals. The combined engineering services sector enables around £600 billion of UK economic activity. 

As an agent for positive change, Actuate UK supports the delivery of a safer and more sustainable UK built environment. With others in the industry, the UK Government and the Devolved Nations, Actuate UK will play a key role in national initiatives, such as the Construction Leadership Council’s Recovery Roadmap, and the Construction Playbook. It will also provide strategic support to economic plans in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. 

Initially, Actuate UK will focus on four areas: the post Covid-19 world of business; after Grenfell – safety, quality and competence; achieving net zero carbon; and skills for tomorrow’s built environment. Actuate UK will make a vital contribution to issues ranging from indoor air quality to smart cities and infrastructure. 

The launch included video endorsements by key industry figures. These included Andy Mitchell, co-chair of the Construction Leadership Council and CEO of Thames Tideway Tunnel, and Ann Bentley, member of the Construction Leadership Council and Global Chairman of Rider Levett Bucknall.

Construction Minister, Anne Marie Trevelyan, and Jamie Hepburn, Minister for Business, Fair Work and Skills in the Scottish Government also welcomed the new alliance. Both Ministers anticipated working with Actuate UK to grow a resilient green economy, post Covid-19. 

Actuate UK fills a gap in understanding the bigger picture of the industry. It will lead the sector’s response to the Building Safety agenda and post-Covid-19 Green Recovery, championing the culture changes needed for their successful delivery.

Roadmap to Recovery 
This Construction Leadership Council strategy aims to drive the recovery of the construction and built environment sectors, and through them the wider UK economy, following the Covid-19 pandemic and economic downturn. 

Construction is uniquely placed to drive the national economic recovery. It operates throughout the UK, employs 3.1m workers, and exports billions of pounds of products and services. 

The strategy aims to increase the level of activity across the construction ecosystem, accelerate the process of industry adjustment to the new normal, and build capacity in the industry to deliver strategic priorities, including: increasing prosperity across the UK; decarbonisation; modernisation through digital and manufacturing technologies; and delivering better, safer buildings. 

There are 3 phases to the plan, to be delivered over two years: 

Restart: Increase output, maximise employment and minimise disruption (0-3 months); 

Reset: Drive demand, increase productivity, strengthen capability in the supply chain (3-12 months); and 

Reinvent: Transform the industry; deliver better value, collaboration and partnership (12-24 months). 

For more information about Actuate UK, visit: 

Discover more about the work carried out by ECA here: or contact ECA’s Northern Ireland Regional Manager, Alfie Watterson: +44 (0)28 9147 9527.