FROM THE OFFICE OF THE PRESIDENT
As I now move into my second year as President I can only quote my journey to date as being a fantastic experience. Stanley Barker-McGuire once said, ‘a year is not enough to do everything we would like’; but now I have two, and every day will continue to bring new opportunities, choices and challenges. Although the past year has been good, the next can be even better, and it’s an honour which I’m extremely proud of.
When becoming President in May 2017 I set myself three objectives to build upon, these being Growth, Collaboration and Quality Core Values, and throughout the year I have spoken and written about these both nationally and internationally. I’ve mentioned the importance and value of external relationships, and the collaborative opportunities to be had by developing our association with others, and this we have successfully achieved. This year, like the past and others before, will deliver new challenges, but my key objectives will remain my priority in raising the Association’s profile, and continuing to build upon the valued contributions that past presidents have also made to the Association’s progression.
We must remember that we are a member Association, run by members for the benefit of members, and growth and collaboration comes only through support and effort. There are no limits, but by embedding growth and collective collaboration in our professions, it provides us with equal choices and opportunities. These opportunities have helped increase our member relationships and engagements, and have ensured our Association has a global presence and a respected influence, and I look forward to further developing our cross-border collaborations for a further year.
At the recent President’s Reception, it was a special occasion to say a fond farewell to Dr John Hooper, our past CEO, and a warm welcome to our new CEO, Dr Gavin Dunn. The event attracted many external colleagues as well as our many regional, Board and office members, and it provided me with a perfect opportunity to highlight some of John’s achievements. Since John joined the Association in 2011 he has grown the membership nationally and internationally, and to the end continued his hard work and commitment to deliver a progressive opportunity for our members to become licensed members of the Engineering Council, for which 91% of our members voted in favour. This change now puts the CABE in touching distance of the industry top table and will enable our members to gain international recognition. It’s a member passport of identity which clearly shows the CABE as the only Engineering body which covers the whole sphere of standards across the regulatory, design, compliance, construction and operational management functions and which makes us uniquely placed to provide a critical role in raising standards.
In moving forward, John has steered the Association well, but with Gavin now at the helm we can look forward for him to navigate and chart our future course. The CABE is a successful and well respected Association and has many valuable relationships with various industry departments, and numerous professional bodies, and we have made huge steps over the past years; but there are far better things ahead than any we leave behind, and clearly the Association will be in safe hands under Gavin’s guidance. Having had the opportunity to join with Gavin on a number of occasions, and visit a number of regions and events together, it is very clear that his aspirations; his passion; and his vision for the Association will undoubtedly extend CABE’s global reach and progression; expanding and developing the journey which John has commenced.
Growth and quality
Our industry continues to struggle to get to grips with the skills shortages, and this recently was reported as hitting its worst recorded level. The CITB has suggested that this is expected to become even worse over the coming years and decades, with recruitment of new talent failing to keep up with the rate of retirement.
The CIOB has reported also that the industry will need to find 157,000 new recruits by 2021 to keep up with demand. Industry and Government are looking to tackle this through apprenticeships, but we can do much more. The CABE has been addressing this over the past year and has been engaging with universities, colleges and schools and advising on the various options, routes and roles available and what a career in construction actually looks like; and the Association has also been developing its industry promotion in encouraging women and young girls to consider the roads of a career in construction, design or engineering, and this progress is ongoing.
Quality continues to be a major issue and it is good that our industry is now calling for tighter and better regulation. In the long term the avenues of change are written in the Hackitt Review; in the short term, however, the cultural change must get started, and it’s refreshing to now see industry calling for a builder licensed scheme. I wrote about this last year and many countries in Europe already operate a licence scheme with successful results. Licensing will ensure an adequate level of competence and professionalism and provide greater assurance to clients and better client relationships.
Collaborating and promoting CABE
This has been an interesting month and I have visted various colleagues and events. I attended CABE’s offices where, along with Gavin, I signed the agreement for our New Zealand chapter, and met with an industry representative in relation to CABE engagement in a goverment initiative. I attended the Southern buildeng in Guildford which was well attended and with some excellent speakers in attendance.
Ben Bradford, myself and our wives enjoyed a special occasion representing the CABE at the Queen’s Garden Party at Buckingham Palace which was an amazing experience, and both Ben and I had an opportunity to meet with many other representives from various professional backgrounds.
Next month looks busy starting with the first Board meeting at CABE’s head office, and I look forward to meeting our new Board members and discussing our strategy agenda for the forthcoming year, and years.
On that note it’s time for me to finish but I look forward to meeting with many members during my travels throughout the forthcoming year.
So, until next month, Best regards
David Taylor BA(Hons) C.Build E PCABE FCABE MCIAT