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government and industry committee


									                                                        Government and Industry Committee
                                                                          11 January 2005

Government and Industry Committee
Held on Tuesday 11 January 2005
At Farringdon Point, London
Chairman                                     John Pulford
Co-opted                                     Lawrence Pepler
Co-opted                                     Neil Charlesworth
Midlands co-opted                            Roger Ling
Eastern region                               James Povey
Attending (BPIF):
Director of Corporate Affairs                Cicely Brown
Strategic Partnerships Director              Andrew Brown (from item 6)
Public Affairs Officer                       Lizzy Hawkins

1. Apologies were received from Zenon Moklak, Michael Gardner, Tim Vernon,
   Sandy Grom, Charles Anderson, Diarmiud McGarry and Andrew Scrimgeour.
   Diarmuid McGarry has announced his retirement from the Government and
   Industry Committee. He thanks everyone for their help during his time on the
2. The minutes of the meeting on Tuesday 12 October 2004 were approved as a true
   and accurate record.
3. General election planning: Lizzy briefed the meeting on the BPIF’s work
   planning for the General Election. Cicely explained that the demand for postal
   voting was predicted to reach 30% in some voting areas, and there was concern
   that other bodies involved in the administration of the election are unaware that
   postal voting involves considerably more print than for traditional polling station
   printing. The Department for Constitutional Affairs (DCA) and Electoral
   Commission have failed to engage fully with the problem, preferring to pass
   responsibility over to Returning Officers to interpret the rules and make the
   necessary arrangements. The regulations for printing ballot papers are stringent,
   requiring postal papers to be exactly the same as polling station papers; any
   changes to the regulations can only be made using primary legislation after the
   election has taken place.
   Neil Charlesworth questioned the stated intention to pass on a list of printers with
   ballot-printing experience to the Electoral Commission and DCA, cautioning that
   the BPIF should not be seen to endorse printers without having confirmed their
   expertise. Roger Ling suggested that any list released should use a form of words
   similar to “these BPIF members offer this service.” Anne Copley will be consulted
   on appropriate phrasing.
   Neil asked whether there were opportunities for the BPIF to profit from producing
   guidelines for printers producing ballot papers. James Povey noted that providing
   a free service to members increased the appeal of BPIF membership for non-

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   members; Cicely Brown reported that two non-members were interested in
   membership, having heard about the BPIF’s work with the General Election
   planning committee. The Chairman suggested a formal approach to the Electoral
   Commission, offering to sell any guidance produced for members to them for
   dissemination among Returning Officers. Roger Ling suggested the Association of
   Electoral Administrators as another route to disseminate best practice among
   Returning Officers; Lizzy has arranged to visit their conference. Neil noted that
   Returning Officers need advising given that the mistakes of the 2004 all-postal
   pilots were often due to Returning Officers delivering information late or in the
   wrong format. Cicely envisaged that the guidance would take the form of a 4-6
   page booklet, including a specimen postal voting pack, but that a final product
   would depend on the outcomes of the meetings to be held on 19 January between
   BPIF members and 26 January between the BPIF, DCA, Electoral Commission,
   Royal Mail and other interested bodies. Neil suggested that the guidance might be
   sold to non-members for £250.
   Roger asked about the possibilities of extending the timescale of elections, that
   currently stands at 19 days from calling to the election day. Cicely replied that this
   was one of the areas that needed primary legislation to change it; Lizzy noted this
   as a future lobbying priority.
   -   Lizzy to confirm what guidance the Electoral Commission will put out.
   -   Lizzy and Cicely to use the results of meetings between members and between
       other bodies involved in the government’s General Election planning
       committee to produce a guidance booklet with a specimen standard postal
       voting ballot paper package. To be advertised for sale to non-members via the
       print media.
   -   Lizzy to formally approach the Electoral Commission to offer the BPIF’s
       guidance on printing ballot papers for sale for dissemination to Returning
4. Working with the regions: Lizzy invited comments on the report about BPIF
   Regional Directors’ work with Regional Development Agencies. Cicely Brown
   was asked to provide more information about the resource centre for which North
   West Business Centre has received funding from the European Social Fund. The
   Chairman noted that North West Business Centre’s training analysis work with
   companies such as Avarto and Tetra Pak accesses funds that can benefit the
   industry as a whole. Personality clashes were acknowledged to play a role in the
   failure to obtain recognition for print in South West of England Development
   Agency and the slow development of the West Midlands employers’ forum,
   PrintIT!. The committee noted that there was quite substantial print activity in the
   South West and that more work is necessary there.
   Cicely reported on the success of the industry’s lobbying campaign to retain its
   central sector desk at the DTI. This is a particular achievement because the
   printing industry did not fall under any of the DTI’s stated criteria for retaining
   central representation. The DTI recognised that the printing industry would protest
   vigorously if it lost its sector desk and that it was therefore worth retaining it.

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   Cicely noted that obtaining recognition by RDAs was not the only way to access
   business support for members, and that the Regional Directors were doing
   valuable work providing a channel to market for generic business support products
   supplied by the DTI via Business Links. The Regional Directors continue to raise
   awareness of the value of using the BPIF as a channel to market for government’s
   support to business.
   The committee asked that Regional Directors’ activities be mapped out and
   presented by Andrew Brown, Director responsible for strategic relationships, at
   the next G&I meeting. The Chairman requested that an email list be set up of
   members in contact with RDAs. The Chairman noted that mapping would allow
   the BPIF to better coordinate activities with the GPMU and Vision in Print.
   Lawrence cautioned against expecting work with one RDA to transfer smoothly to
   another because each RDA has very different priorities and organisational
   structures. For example, Yorkshire Forward funded Print Yorkshire for business
   improvement in print, whereas London Development Agency has a partner to
   provide generic business improvement solutions and is therefore not interested in
   a sectoral approach.
   -   Andrew Brown to produce tailored regional strategies for regional directors’
       activities with individual RDAs for the next G&I meeting on 19 April and, if
       possible given his other commitments, present a map showing activities,
       successes and problems in each region.
5. Training:
   a. Picon schools project and Education and Training sub-group: Cicely
      explained that on 17 January Picon will launch its programme to engage
      schools in the printing industry via a competition that will climax at IPEX
      2006. The BPIF has promised £10,000 to the project, to be funded by setting
      up a BPIF PrintIT! member group for a nominal subscription that would allow
      ongoing engagement with schools. The Committee fully endorsed the project,
      noting that the BPIF would be the natural organisation to take forward the
      links established with schools when Picon’s project ends in 2006. Lawrence
      suggested that the YMP organisation could usefully be involved in the project.
       The Chairman explained that with the establishment of the Sector Skills
       Council for the manufacturing and production industries, the BPIF needs a
       vehicle to communicate members’ views on training and the Picon project is a
       convenient mechanism to harness their enthusiasm. Cicely, as the BPIF’s
       representative on Picon’s PrintIT! committee, will look after the BPIF PrintIT!
       group, which will be an informal sub-group of the Government and Industry
       committee. Cicely reported that the BPIF’s agreement with Picon
       acknowledged that funds raised in excess of £10,000 could be used to fund
       costs of administering the the BPIF PrintIT! Group with before being passed
       on to the Picon PrintIT! fund. Neil cautioned that, based on his experience as
       part of the old Education and Training Committee, the new group should be
       careful to maintain sufficient distance from the details of training because it
       was too broad an issue to be dealt with successfully by one group. Cicely
       suggested that training issues should be covered as follows: schools and the
       industry’s image to be dealt with by the new PrintIT! group; industry training

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       and skills issues should be covered by the companies involved in BPIF
       Training and ProSkills; exceptional issues to the Government and Industry
       Committee. It was decided that further decisions concerning the structure of
       the PrintIT! group would be left until after the Picon project was underway.
   b. All Party Parliamentary Print Group (APPPG) event theme: Lizzy
      proposed a training theme for the 2005 All Party Parliamentary Print Group
      event, on the grounds that this would be fertile ground for obtaining
      sponsorship, a high-profile speaker and MP attendance. The committee
      endorsed the theme and the Chairman suggested Picon might be interested in
      sponsoring it, in conjunction with its PrintIT! schools project.
       Neil suggested Communications as a theme, with opportunities for
       sponsorship from bodies such as BT and NTL. It was agreed that training was
       a more appropriate theme for this year’s APPPG event given the anticipated
       establishment of ProSkills and the Picon project, but Lizzy will investigate
       lobbying opportunities for improving the UK’s digital communications
       -   Lizzy to speak to Richard Bloxam about a specific subject for the training
           theme and discuss whether the APPPG event would be a good opportunity
           to launch ProSkills.
       -   Lizzy to investigate lobbying opportunities for improving the
           communications infrastructure.
   c. Learning and Skills Council Apprenticeship promotion campaign: the low
      response rate arising from the LSC’s £8 million Apprenticeship promotion
      campaign will be used to support the BPIF’s argument that government
      attempts to engage with business should use existing organisations as channels
      to market.
6. Industrial relations
   a. Union recognition ballot access guidelines consultation: Andrew Brown
      said that the new guidelines contained positive and negative revisions but were
      badly drafted. In response to a question from the Chairman, Cicely said that
      consultation on the guidelines has so far been confined to BPIF HR staff and
      would remain so unless any member expresses strong views following the
      publication of the consultation in last week’s Online.
   b. Partnership at Work: Andrew Brown reported that, following a summer of
      consultation, a framework for a new, modernised National Agreement was
      being negotiated by a working group of BPIF members and GPMS officers.
      The final two days of negotiation will occur on 13 and 14 January. Following
      two difficult days, Frank Burchill, the independent chairman, and Tony
      Dubbins have been notified by the BPIF party that more flexibility and co-
      operation is necessary to complete the task in the time allocated before DTI
      funding runs out at the end of March. Neil Charlesworth expressed concern
      that a substantial amount of management time was being spent on the project.
      He suggested that a two-tier package may have to be presented, separating
      issues agreed from those on which there has not yet been agreement.

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      Andrew responded to Lawrence’s enquiry about the effect of the GPMU’s
      merger with Amicus by saying that a harder line was being taken on some
      issues that had not previously been prominent, such as temporary agency
      workers. The Chairman noted that Employment Relations Minister Gerry
      Sutcliffe’s affiliation with the GPMU might result in ministerial pressure on
      the GPMS for the project to succeed.
7. AOB
   a. SMEs and procurement: Neil observed that it was becoming increasingly
      complex to get contracts and that BPIF guidance in filling in tender
      applications would have great commercial potential. Andrew said that the
      BPIF print accreditation being developed with the British Standards Institute
      could be useful in cutting down application paperwork. The Chairman noted
      that the City Fringe cluster group’s work on local sourcing was dealing with
      the problems posed to SMEs by complex application forms. The Chairman
      and Neil will look at the pre-qualification questionnaire compiled by Haringey
      Council to create their approved print and design supplier list and comment on
      whether it succeeds in being simple.
      -   Lizzy to produce a sellable guide to filling in tender application forms.
   b. BPIF surveys: Roger Ling commented that it had taken a long time for the
      BPIF’s surveys to be published last year and this had resulted in them losing
      credibility. He asked whether there was a case for staggering their release to
      allow them to come out more quickly. He uses the Manpower survey within
      his company to negotiate annual pay rates so its later publication causes
      problems. Cicely agreed to investigate the possibility of staggering the release
      of the surveys, commenting that Kyle Jardine deals with all survey material
      which was why the surveys took some time to be published.
8. Date of next meeting: Tuesday 19 April 2005

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