Prime Minister Boris Johnson saw first-hand the crucial role builders’ merchants play in the national economy on a tour of the Travis Perkins’ branch in South Ruislip.
Frank Elkins, Chief Operating Officer of Travis Perkins plc introduced the Prime Minister to branch colleagues, among them some of the nearly 1000 apprentices enrolled on programmes across the Group.
Elkins said, “As the industry’s leading Apprenticeship and Kickstart placements provider we outlined how these placements are supporting both the economic recovery, the development of our talent pipeline but also an opportunity to improve diversity and skills across our industry”.
The visit was organised by the Builders Merchants Federation (BMF) as part of its industry and parliament programme, to highlight the vital role played by builders’ merchants in the construction supply chain. John Newcomb, CEO of the BMF, gave the Prime Minister an overview of how its members perform an essential function in distributing construction materials and home improvement products across the UK. He also explained how the industry is actively embracing a more sustainable focus.
Following the recent UNCOP26 Climate Conference, the Prime Minister discussed the importance of decarbonising buildings and electrifying heating and transport. Elkins and Newcomb also updated the PM on the Construction Leadership Council’s National Retrofit Strategy, BMF members will play a central role in this 20-year fully-costed plan to improve existing homes.
Newcomb said: “We were delighted to show to the Prime Minister how our members can support a more sustainable future. It was a particularly timely visit, with the COP26 UN Climate Change Conference taking place”.
“Low or zero-carbon products are crucial in the building and home improvement industries to drive down emissions. We were able to demonstrate to the Prime Minister that the building supply chain is the most efficient route-to-market for these products”.
“BMF members provide the materials, products and expertise needed to de-carbonise our homes. Fitting energy-efficient, low emission and water-saving measures in properties will be key to achieving sustainability goals.”