Representing one of the UK’s largest sectors the council is a partnership between industry and government and spans accountancy, actuarial, advertising, architecture, consultancy, engineering, law, recruitment and surveying. The council works closely with sector leaders, trade associations and professional bodies to make sure that the voice of the sector is heard by government. Alan is taking over from Nick Owen, UK Chair of Deloitte, who served as co-Chair since 2016.
Alan Belfield has been the Chair of Arup Group since April 2019 and has worked at the international design, engineering and consultancy firm since 1992. A mechanical engineer by training, during his 27-year career at Arup, Alan has built the firm’s consulting business with specialists in management consulting, planning and technology.
Alan is taking over as Business Chair at a crucial time for the professional business services (PBS) sector. Employing 4.7 million people, its output is crucial to the UK economy, adding £217 billion of gross value in 2020 alone, and has in recent years outperformed it as a whole. The sector now provides a third of the UK’s total services exports, with the UK coming second only to the US as the greatest exporter of PBS in the world. As with many other industries, the sector has faced significant challenges during the pandemic, with huge disruption caused by new, remote working practices testing both business generation abilities and the health and wellbeing of employees.
The PBSC is made up of the following working groups, covering priority areas working in partnership with the government to inform thinking on the future direction of the sector and its contribution to the UK:
Responsible Business – promoting and accelerating responsible business practices, including the Net Zero agenda
Skills and Inclusion – engaged on access to skills and understanding future skills needs to support business growth
Importance of Place – supporting the government levelling up agenda and promoting growth across all areas of the UK
International Trade – focusing on exporting the UK services