FROM THE OFFICE OF THE PRESIDENT
Wow! I can’t believe just how fast the days are passing; it only feels like yesterday in completing the September Journal page and I am now being reminded it’s that time again. We all appear to be extremely busy, which is good for everyone and our industry, but there still remains concern on numbers coming through academia and training, and concern remains also on early retirements and the increasing lack of skills breaking through into our industry roads of opportunity.
Attracting the next generation
For the past few years, the construction industry has faced several issues, mainly surrounding the skills shortage and ageing workforce, and, because of this, there has been a lot of attention from schools and colleges, who have offered apprenticeships to train young people on the job. There is a need to attract the next generation into building a career within our industry and, although traditional building or construction has changed over the years, it’s vital that future career choices are embraced and developed and that they are trained to understand how our industry past and present has and is evolving, along with the technologies which we now work with and which will eventually become part of their everyday working lives. Our industry often has a range of new developments and initiatives that are constantly being introduced to its workforce, such as digital technology, which will assist roles and sectors to ensure their building projects are as safe and efficient as possible. The days of pencil and paper appear to have gone and have been replaced by mobile apps and tablets that allow professionals to digitally visualise projects, but monitoring projects and building progress efficiently and effectively remains to be understood and how our professions impact upon the environment and society.
Together – we really need to start getting on top of this! Construction is, hopefully, set to further grow and help the UK economy and, without the right people at the helm to deliver these projects, we will be unable to deliver on this potential. One of the growth key areas has been the support from Building Control, and it is clear within our membership department at CABE that numbers are increasing. I wanted to find out for myself, so during a recent visit to London I made a surprise visit to London Building Control, and was pleased to see how their development and training of new members is progressing. It clearly is becoming a success, not a one-off adventure but a development programme with thriving results. In discussion with Director Stuart Samuels, it’s very clear that the next generation of talent coming through is of paramount importance to them and, as Stuart said, to advance our core industry values and encourage the next generation we must support, encourage, inspire and nourish their appetite, and make them feel welcome and needed. It was great to meet the new breed at London Building Control and hopefully this is just a glimmer of what others may also be encouraging, and if is then our industry will be in good hands.
APS Conference and continued collaboration
I had the pleasure of attending the APS Conference in Manchester along with Gavin Dunn, Tony Ginda and Sarah Arthurs, and delivering the keynote presentation to a packed event of leading industry professionals and several inspiring well known speakers and experts. Originally I was asked to discuss our industry core values which, you will be aware, was one of my presidential objectives but this was changed to embrace Safer Together. This provided me a perfect opportunity to discuss key areas of Ethics, Procurement, Risk Management, Competency and knowledge, Communication, Collaboration, Accountability and Leadership. The theme for the day was clear on the importance of collaboration and better industry interaction and influence, and I’m pleased to say the CABE is well ahead in all these core areas leading the way and improving the wellbeing of our industry.
I was extremely proud during the day’s event to receive an Honorary Fellowship Award to the APS in recognition of my contribution to good practice in design and risk management, and it’s a recognition I will wear with pride. Following our MoU signing in June and our ongoing development of member opportunities, it’s clear our relationship is a fuel and driver for the good in our industry. CABE alone is a strong voice for the good of our industry, but together we become a powerful voice of recognised quality, presence and contribution, and industry will benefit from this, and our members should be encouraged by this relationship and the opportunities it provides. Caroline is now pouring me a much needed glass of red wine but, the way I feel, I may encourage her to leave me the bottle! So on that note it’s time for me to finish, but I look forward to meeting with many members during my travels in raising the continued profile of our Association.
So, until next month,
David Taylor BA(Hons) C.Build E PCABE FCABE MCIAT