A leading figure from the construction sector has been selected by Prime Minister Boris Johnson to be part of a Business Council to help asset the UK as the best place in the world to do business.

Julie White, managing director of Coventry-based D-Drill – with further offices across the UK – will be part of the Prime Minister’s revamped Business Council, which is co-chaired by the Chancellor.

The Prime Minister and the Chancellor have convened a new cohort of business leaders to work in partnership with the Government, helping to drive a high productivity, high growth economy over the next 12 months and level up local economies around the country.

The new Council will support the UK’s recovery from Covid-19 and prioritise delivering the green industrial revolution, creating new jobs and developing a skilled workforce, and unlocking global investment.

This follows the Prime Minister’s pledge this week to capitalise on regulatory freedoms two years on from our departure from the EU, in another move that will support businesses to invest, innovate and create jobs.

Building on the successes of last year’s Build Back Better Business Council, the Prime Minister’s Business Council will retain and implement the three core pillars of the Plan for Growth framework – infrastructure, innovation, and skills – against which Council members will continue to translate goals into measurable action.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson said: “We’ve got one of Europe’s most open economies thanks to our vaccine rollout programme, and with Plan B restrictions firmly behind us we can now go further to turbocharge the economy and unleash the benefits of Brexit.

“Harnessing the extraordinary powers of our new Business Council, together we will knuckle down on creating new high skilled, high wage jobs, driving innovation in science and tech, and mobilising investment to deliver the green industrial revolution – all while levelling up and securing the UK as the best place to do business.” 

Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak said: “Thanks to the speed of our vaccine rollout and unprecedented package of covid support we have the fastest growing economy in the G7 – and it’s vital we continue on that path by grasping the opportunities ahead.

“We’re investing billions in innovation, infrastructure and skills to release the potential of the whole of the UK and ensure the UK continues to be the most attractive place in the world to do business.

“This new Business Council will help drive this vision forward and ensure our Plan for Growth is delivered successfully – levelling up across the country and powering a high growth, high productivity economy.”

Meeting at least quarterly, the Prime Minister’s Business Council will be comprised of 28 members from a range of industries and sectors, including manufacturing, financial services, energy, and world-renowned science and technology sectors. The line-up also consists of 13 women, which sees an increase in the proportion of female members from last year’s Build Back Better Business Council.

The Business Secretary and Trade Secretary will be standing members, with the addition of the Education Secretary to focus on skills. Other Cabinet Ministers will attend meetings as required.

The first Prime Minister’s Business Council is scheduled for the coming weeks, and will be co-chaired by the Prime Minister and the Chancellor.

Julie White said: “The Business Council offers a great opportunity for the Prime Minister and his fellow Ministers to hear directly from businesses who are best placed to inform and advise on the benefits and implications of decisions made by Government.

“The construction sector has a significant role to play in building back better, levelling up and growing the UK economy and I am confident that businesses of all shapes and sizes in the construction supply chain want to play their part.   

“As a specialist sub-contracting business with nationwide depots, I experience the day-to-day challenges of running a business, offering local employment and investing in future generations through our apprentices.

“My involvement in the Drilling and Sawing Association and Build UK provides me with a greater understanding of the challenges faced by my peers running large and small businesses and I look forward to contributing my knowledge and experience.”