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GENERAL ELECTION: MIA calls on Labour Government to get behind events sector

The Meetings Industry Association’s (MIA) chief executive, Kerrin MacPhie, has responded to Labour’s landslide UK general election win, saying the body will be pressing the new government on the challenges being faced by the sector.

From its latest quarterly MIA Insights that were published yesterday (4 July), just 4% of professionals felt that the sector is supported by the UK government. Those disgruntled went on to pinpoint recruitment challenges, public transport infrastructure and international attractiveness among many other topics that they would welcome support on.

MacPhie says on the following issues:-

Martyn’s Law

“As the terrorism threat level continues to evolve and remain significant, the MIA welcomes Labour’s commitment to bringing in Martyn’s Law to strengthen the security of public events and venues. We will continue to champion Figen Murray’s quest to bring in the new legislation while providing clear best practice guidance to ensure the sector doesn’t wait and instead is adopting a good security culture with processes clearly communicated to all staff.”

Business Tax

“We welcome Labour’s commitment to provide better support for small and medium-sized enterprises as many small firms, entrepreneurs, and the self-employed form part of the vibrant business meetings and events sector. Labour’s roadmap to aide investment planning could support further investment in the sector, which will be positively appreciated from our latest MIA Insights.”

Overhaul to the apprenticeship levy

“With less than half (47%) of the sector currently employing apprentices according to our MIA Insights, we support Labour’s intention to create a new ‘growth and skills levy’. This fresh approach will allow operators greater flexibility to use up to 50% of their levy contributions to fund training through alternative routes to support the exact training that is required to help the sector thrive.”

Transport infrastructure

“Modernising and investing in the UK’s transport infrastructure, including an overhaul of Britain’s railways, is essential to ensure that the UK continues to be a desirable location to attract world-class business meetings and events.

“We need a reliable transport network to ensure accessibility remains throughout the regions, as our sector offers a fantastic marketplace for Britain’s key economic sectors. Our rich and diverse range of quality venues provide an international platform to showcase Britain’s creativity and innovation and play a vital role in the UK’s tourism industry.”

Part of the narrative

“It has been extremely disappointing that previous governments have continually failed to recognise that the UK hospitality industry is vast – encompassing so much more than just pubs and restaurants. As a result, business meetings and events get lost despite facilitating in excess of £165 billion in trade. We will be continuing our work pushing to ensure that business meetings and events become part of the narrative as they offer the government significant opportunities to further expand the UK’s trade, exports and knowledge economy and attract inward investment.

“We’ve continued to nurture strong and effective relationships with key government departments in recent years, notably the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport who we hosted alongside VisitBritain at IMEX. These relationships have proved essential as we inform government of the key challenges and opportunities that are facing the sector, and more importantly discuss ways to overcome and leverage these respectively.

“With changes now in store, we will be writing to officials with an invitation to meet with us over the coming months as we work to drive the sector up the government agenda.”


PA Life’s exclusive interview with Kerrin McPhie discovered her vision for MIA at the star of her post.