The UK’s Minister of State for Skills & Construction, Nick Boles, will be the keynote speaker at the CEA (Construction Equipment Association) Annual Conference in London, on 18 November.

The CEA said this year’s conference would concentrate on the factors that would make the UK construction equipment sector more successful – investment in infrastructure, commitment to skills and the adoption of innovative technology – with insights into market prospects.

The Minister has responsibility for both the Department of Business, Innovation & Skills, and the Department for Education. His responsibilities include employer ownership of skills, pre-employment and basic skills, and vocational qualifications.

Apprenticeships and traineeships are also part of Boles’ remit, which ties in with one of the key themes of the conference. He also is responsible for the Skills Funding Agency which funds skills training for further education in England. The agency supports over 1,000 colleges, private training organisations, and employers with £3.7 billion (€5.09 billion) of funding each year.

David Phillips, managing director of Off-Highway Research, will be talking to the conference about the construction equipment market worldwide.

Professor Sir Mike Gregory from the University of Cambridge engineering department and the Institute for Manufacturing will be addressing delegates in the skills part of the agenda. Nigel Baseley, president of the CEA and sales director of EAME Industrial Power Systems Division, Perkins Engines, will also discuss this topic.

Bill Quigley, head of excavated and bulk materials at the HS2 (high speed rail network) Infrastructure Directorate, will update delegates on the HS2 project.

Other key subjects covered at the conference are fuels of the future, the driverless machine, and a Thames Tunnel update, with speakers still to be confirmed.

The conference is organised in association with Plantworx and Construction Worx. It will be held at the home of the Institute of Civil Engineers at One Great George Street, London.

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