CBI London Business Survey sponsored by CBRE

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CBI London Business Survey sponsored by CBRE

This week Trudy Peeler, Head of Transport & Infrastructure at Impact Executives attended the launch of the CBI’s London Business Survey. A quick pulse of the Capital’s business suggest that Transport, planning and infrastructure are causing the most concern. Lucy Haynes of the CBI presented the findings with panel debate from Alastair Baird, Regional Managing Director, Barratt London; Mike Brown, Commissioner, Transport for London and The Rt. Hon. the Lord Adonis

The general economic climate Just under half of businesses surveyed felt more positive about economic prospects over the next 6 months, with half saying growth would be limited to London. Whilst this is an increase more than half do not feel positive so it would seem the hesitant, uncertain climate will continue.

Could lack of investment lead to London’s decline in the near future? The lack of housing stock, particularly affordable housing in the city is already affecting employer’s ability to retain and attract talent at all levels. Recruitment and retention of staff, its feared, will worsen. Improvements in quality, density and affordability were all essential although planning and constraints of land availability were hampering development. What more could the mayor could do to, as one of the largest land owners, to make more brownfield sites available?

Developing housing around transport hubs is one option. Crossrail will increase London housing stock by 200,000 desperately needed homes could this be replicated. Network Rail & TfL are also significant land owners in London and could work harder to make more brownfield sites available.

Increasing demand for mobility solutions Investing in infrastructure to improve mobility and access to labour markets, including increasing airport capacity was also hotly debated as employers felt they were unable to consider flexible solutions because of cost and time constraints.

Improving roads and tackling congestions is still considered the biggest infrastructure priority for business along with improving digital connectivity. Good news came from Mike Brown here however who confirmed significant investment was planned. Addressing these issues would guarantee London’s global competitiveness and prevent a decline in London’s growth.

Access to talent Reducing costs, regulation, uncertainty over Europe and lack of growth were other concerns but what underpinned everything was the ever growing problem of retaining top talent and lack of appropriately skilled staff. The question remains how to make construction and engineering a more appealing sector, particularly when major projects which create jobs and drive growth are being held up through lack of available, appropriately skilled resource.

Interim management could provide valuable solutions to addressing some of these issues from interim MD’s and directors to project delivery, mobilisation, bidding, delivering cultural and organisational change by providing quick, low risk access to the expertise needed.

What’s evident across the sector is the lack of a coherent strategy that links population growth, housing, transport & infrastructure. The national infrastructure plan is having a positive impact however this does not include housing and there is still no national strategy for transport.

Across the Industry there also seems to be a fundamental lack of understanding of the psychological factors that shape the sectors and we hear the same message that infrastructure development simply cannot keep up with the constant demands of population. Yet what we see is just more of the same. The definition of madness? Surely it’s time for a change in thinking and radical action.

 

About Impact Executives Ltd Impact Executives is a leading interim management provider to organisations of every size in the UK and globally. Originally formed as a specialist practice within PA Consulting Group, over the past 25 years Impact Executives has helped over 2000 companies, including more than two-thirds of the FTSE 250 – find the very best executive interim management talent.

Clients choose to work in partnership with Impact Executives because of our proven ability to offer client’s immediate solutions to improve their organisation’s performance through identifying skills-gaps, business process reengineering (BPR), turnaround, restructure and growth.

With offices covering the UK, the Nordics, Europe, Asia Pacific and North America, Impact Executives is part of the global recruitment specialist Harvey Nash Group plc. Over the past 20 years we have given clients and interim managers the confidence that we have the resources, expertise and focus to deliver results – fast.

For further information on Impact Executives, please contact Steffany Young, Impact Executives, Tel: 0044 20 7314 2011 Email: steffany.young@impactexecutives.com