FROM THE OFFICE OF THE PRESIDENT
Autumn has arrived and the temperature is dropping, days will be getting shorter and the leaves are now changing colour; all clear signs that summer is drawing to a close.
During my Inauguration in sunny May I set out some clear objectives to fulfil during my presidential term, and during the past months I have been extremely busy in tackling the tasks I set myself. The CABE is making great strides in helping to steer the future of our industry whilst improving standards for the benefit of our members, and the Association’s vision of Developing Professionals (GROWTH), Sharing Knowledge (COLLABORATION) and Raising Standards (CORE VALUES) are the areas I have been expanding on, working closely with industry partners to shape and share our core values and relationships which, in turn, will form some strategic long-term partnerships throughout our industry avenues.
Brexit has been an area which I have tried to avoid writing about, but I am constantly being asked for my thoughts during my travels and discussions. Before Brexit we had a notable skills gap which was clearly widening but, since Brexit, this has increased further and, to make matters worse, ‘from a recent CITB report’ one-third of non-British skilled workers are considering leaving the UK, and by 2024 it is anticipated that there will be four million too few skilled workers to meet the demand, and more than six million too many low skilled. Brexit has to play its part in this, as we are all still unsure how easy it will be to come into the UK and find work. If future legislation and regulations put strict entry requirements in place, then the Skills Shortage is unlikely to reduce unless something is done, and clearly our industry in all sectors is extremely worried about it.
The work of the CABE and its members is vital to our industry, and our members are at the forefront to share with the construction industry and wider community examples of good practice in terms of skills, knowledge and experience and, although the skills gap may prove tough for the foreseeable future, CABE members are well placed to help develop the skills needed in our industry by providing Knowledge, Training and Education, thus developing professionals for the challenges and years ahead.
Embedding collective collaboration in our professions provides us with equal opportunities and our relationships are looking strong for the years ahead.
In recent weeks, I have had numerous meetings with Bobby Chakravarthy, President of the Association of Project Safety (APS), and together we have now set in place a Collaborative partnership which will enable our members to gain direct access to APS events plus membership opportunities, and APS members with reciprocal opportunities in the CABE.
This collaborative venture I have also discussed with Gary Mees, President of CIAT, and Richard Scott, President of LABC, who I am pleased to say are both in support of this forward way approach and I hope that a similar arrangement can be concluded in the next few weeks.
Health and safety debate
I had the opportunity to take part in a panel debate at the recent APS Conference in Cardiff, where skills, knowledge and the Principal Designer role formed the areas of audience questioning.
I was able to communicate that the CABE have long been advocates of encouraging members to be more resilient on health and safety matters and the need for it to be regarded and accepted as an ethical responsibility rather than a managerial activity or chore. However, from a designer’s background I feel we are at a crossroads when applying design risk procedures and how in best practice principal designers discharge their duties. We embed safety and the importance of resilience engineering and how current actions will affect safety performance in the future, but we only tend to measure safety through negative incidents which have occurred and not success. Doing more of the same is simply going to continue to get us more of the same, not something different and we all now need to find a proactive approach on how health and safety can be beneficially shaped for the coming years.
Both Past-President Ben Bradford and I have spoken about regulation 7 before, and I believe this should be changed to read, Materials, Workmanship and Health and Safety.
For many years I have felt Building Control is best placed to check for Health and Safety compliance ‘or inclusive performance’ and whilst the current documents are under review maybe it’s time this could be implemented. Richard Scott PLABC was in support of this and it would be interesting to hear the views of our members.
It was great during a recent visit to a development In Cambridge to see the site personnel and client wearing the Pink Hats. Aware of my aspiration to bring awareness to our industry of supporting breast cancer, the team had no hesitation in showing their support for the cause. The word is out and spreading and hopefully I’ll have the pleasure of providing more supportive pictures over the next few months. Why not take a look!
There continues to be a lot of work in front of me, and many roads to travel so until next month,
David Taylor BA(Hons) C.Build E PCABE FCABE MCIAT Peng MSPE