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FSA seeks government engagement

by Andy Clutton

dreamstime_m_10266882The Fire and Security Association (FSA) is calling on the new Government to engage with them on three key issues that affect fire and security companies. The three issues are prompt payment, boosting technical skills and cost-effective business licensing.

With regard to payment, the FSA is looking for effective legislation to ensure prompt and fair payment. “We are encouraged that the previous administration recognised that smaller businesses need support on fair payment if they are to be successful in a growing economy. We note the Government’s legislation – issued earlier this year – on prompt payment in the public sector supply chain, but this still needs fine tuning by the new administration if it is to really help fire and security companies,” says Pat Allen, Chairman of the FSA.

He continued: “We also urge the Government to act promptly if current voluntary payment codes do not stimulate a widespread, positive step change in supply chain payment. If the voluntary route fails, we ask the Government to be ready with fair payment legislation right across the commercial and public sectors.”

Pat Allen also called for a period of consolidation and stability on training policy. “Under the previous Government, skills provision in much of the UK was subject to a number of proposals for change. This applied particularly to the funding of apprenticeships, which, after intense consultation with electrical and specialist contractors, appeared to be heading for a pragmatic and workable solution. We hope that the new administration continues to build on this progress when considering its current policy agenda. Its proposed ‘one-size fits all’ approach to technical apprenticeships won’t work and Government needs to both protect and support sectors such as ours, that rely on skilled technical apprenticeships and adult education.”

He added: “We would like to work with Government to ensure that that Alarm Receiving Centres are not saddled with unnecessary business licensing costs. We made some very good progress on this with the previous administration, and we shall continue to lobby for a cost-effective approach to how contractors can show they meet modern requirements in the security sector, notably through existing UKAS certification.”

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