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Vince Cable to speak on Engineering Infrastructure in the UK
The Business Secretary will be speaking on Infrastructure in the UK in a seminar hosted by the Association for Black Engineers (AFBE-UK) in collaboration with BT Ethnic Minority Network.
The seminar aims to examine the Government’s approach to investment in Infrastructure and the potential consequences.
The spiralling national debt inherited by the coalition has necessitated a drastic reduction in public spending. The national debt is expected to reach £900 billion. This is equivalent to 70% of the nation's GDP with an overspend to the tune of £155 billion in the last financial year alone. The UK's public debt interest repayments now total £120m a day.
The 2010 spending review reaffirmed the government’s commitment to infrastructure including significant investment in local and regional transport infrastructure e.g. Crossrail, investment in superfast broadband and green power generating technology. The level of investment however, falls short of what is required to address the historic underinvestment and to allow the United Kingdom to maintain her competitiveness on the global scene.
“Infrastructure is critical to the economic, social and environmental health of the UK, says Nelson Ogunshakin OBE, CEO of the Association for Consultancy Engineering (ACE). “Getting the delivery right is a delicate balance of issues. We must invest in the right developments, enhancements and upgrades. We must create a stable policy environment that encourages investment. We must ensure that decisions are being taken at the right level by the right people. And we must ensure that we are investing in education and skills that will be crucial for delivery. All of this requires a coordinated approach from all parties – government, industry, finance and education included.
This is the critical challenge for the UK today.” The challenges posed by the spending review will also affect many other areas requiring investment such as, Energy, Waste, Research and Development, Water, Floods, Telecommunications.
The Opening Address will be delivered by Rt. Hon Dr Vince Cable MP (Secretary of State for
Business, Innovation and Skills), other keynote speakers are Andrew Rose (Chief Executive
Infrastructure UK), Nelson Ogunshakin OBE (Chief Executive, Association for Consultancy and Engineering)
The environmental and social challenges of infrastructural development including the response to Japan’s Fukushima catastrophe and whether the UK should continue to invest in nuclear energy and other alternative options available for a low-carbon future are some of the questions that this seminar will aim to explore.
This promises to be a highly interesting discussion. AFBE-UK welcomes anyone who is interested to know how government policy as pertains to infrastructure and development affects them.
The event will take place at 5.30p.m on the 20th June at BT Centre, 81 Newgate Street London, EC1A 7AJ.
You can register for this event by visiting www.afbe.org.uk.
Alternatively email Dr Nike Folayan at nike.folayan@
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Notes to Editors:
AFBE-UK is a not for profit organisation with a UK-based engineers who promote interest in the engineering profession especially among young people of Black and Minority Ethnic
(BME) backgrounds in the UK. AFBE-UK goals are to encourage partnership within engineering communities, to gain recognition within the engineering industry and to support young people towards science and technology.
For more information about the work of the Association please visit the website at