I am delighted to be able to contribute to our January newsletter. Happy New Year and welcome to 2023!As Andrew Carpenter our Chief Executive eluded to in his year end message, we have had a solid 2022 at CE Midlands. A big thanks to the Board, our super Admin team working behind the scenes and our vibrant Clubs and Hubs. As we head into 2023, we know these will be turbulent times. There is no doubt that the compounding effect of Brexit, Covid, Ukraine, Energy Prices and Inflation will continue to cause some significant challenges into this year. And if interest rates keep going up along with energy and fuel prices compounded by skills shortage, that will hurt a lot of businesses and indeed people who work in our industry. Concrete up 40%, rebar and steel up 20% plus shortage of microchips which go into practically everything we build and own to name a few examples. So we must prepare for price pressures to continue for a while and we will see costs increase and cost predictability reduce. Having painted that picture, the optimist in me is seeing employment and the jobs market looking good. All the indications are that there will be significant ongoing investments in infrastructure – HS2, roads, nuclear, renewables and public services. Having bounced back stronger through the pandemic, CE midlands is well placed to drive the conversations and collaboration we need by joining the dots across the construction value chain – from manufacturers, consultants, architects and legal firms to client organisations and academic institutions. It is great to see our membership growing in all these sectors. United we stand, divided we fall. We have made some great progress across a number of fronts. • G4C, our young talent network, has built up some great momentum with regular networking and knowledge sharing events • The Infrastructure group was launched this year and starting to make a mark. • Our clubs and hub activity has visibly picked up with the relaunch of Nottingham being the highlight; we are spotlighting the issues that matter at a very local level across the midlands, and hopefully start making a difference in the communities we work in. • And to top it all off, our prestigious award dinners were a great success with so many of our members being recognised for their fantastic work. The values that we stand for in CE Midlands and the agenda we are driving will be ever more important to mitigate the pressures in 2023 but also seize the opportunities and speed up the recovery which I believe will also come towards the latter part of 2023. And our four themes that underpin our clubs and hubs will be more relevant than ever. Safer construction …driving workforce safety and mental health forward Smarter construction …driving digitisation, pre-fab and AI deployment across a range of processes we engage in driving better productivity, efficiency and innovations. Greener construction…our drive for net zero. Talent and skills…our drive to attract and grow talent, skills and behaviours we need for the future in our region. I have every confidence we will as a region continue to play a big role in riding the storm and come out stronger. At CE Midlands the Board, Clubs and Hubs will continue to serve you, help join those dots and drive collaboration across the industry.
We are very excited to announce the Call for Entries for our CE Midlands Awards 2023
The Deadline for entries are as follows:
East Midlands – 5th May 2023
West Midlands 10th March 2023
All other information regarding the awards are published on our About the Awards sections on our website
Constructing Excellence Midlands is a progressive membership organisation that strives to support its members to ‘do things differently’ by driving innovation and best practice within the construction industry.
The organisation champions collaboration, knowledge sharing and networking by providing a range of learning platforms – including the extensive resources hub on the website. The latest addition is a brand-new Client Advisor Guide (Click here to download) designed to explain the role of a client advisor and how they should behave and operate, ensuring a clear expectation from both sides as to how a relationship will work throughout the duration of a project.
The concise guide offers advice and information to support professionals from the onset of a project and throughout, providing guidance on best practice and ensuring best results – even when challenges arise.
Andrew Carpenter, chief executive of Constructing Excellence Midlands, said: “As an organisation, we are passionate about encouraging professionals within the construction industry to drive change and improvements and our new client advisor guide will help to do just that.
“It offers a succinct overview of what is expected of an advisor and their role throughout a project, supporting best practice and ultimately driving successful outcomes.”
The guide can be downloaded from the website HERE. The resources hub offers a one-stop shop for a range of materials aimed at supporting construction professionals to deliver best practice.
With grateful thanks to Nick Pettit, it was a great pleasure to launch our newest Best Practice Club at Lincoln College on Tuesday 25th October 2022.
Sixty professionals from across the county of Lincolnshire came together to hear Andrew Carpenter speak about the benefits of joining CE Midlands and the need for a Lincolnshire Club.
In addition, Andrew took the audience through the CLC Construct Zero Performance Framework, outlining the UK’s construction sector roadmap to achieving Net Zero by 2050 by identifying the required metrics and milestones.
The next move is to create a working committee for the Lincolnshire Club, and this will take place at a Leadership Dinner at the Doubletree by Hilton Hotel in Lincoln on the evening of 1st December 2022. Anybody interested in joining the committee and attending the dinner should contact Lynn.firstname.lastname@example.org.
CE Midlands are excited to take part in UK Construction Week this October. The three-day show will be held at Birmingham’s NEC.
The show will celebrate culture change in construction with three days of debate and discussion from top speakers on how the industry can move forward to tackle its biggest issues, including quality, fire safety, sustainability, offsite manufacturing, mental health, and improving diversity and inclusion.
Visitors will also be able to find sections dedicated to Building materials, Digitalisation, Infrastructure, Energy, HVAC, Surface & Materials, Timber, Offsite Construction and Skills & Careers.
Officially opened by architect and Channel 4 presenter George Clarke, UKCW Birmingham will also feature sessions and seminars led by industry experts across the show’s six stages:
- UKCW Main Stage – used to tackle overarching construction industry topics, with a mixture of keynotes, panel debates and case studies from industry leaders.
- Sustainability Hub – forming the conference programme at the heart of Timber Expo, the hub programme will tackle the issues, layout strategies and present exemplar case studies to help the sector reach its net zero targets.
- Infrastructure Hub – the main feature content of Civils Expo, the Infrastructure Hub will deliver a three-day programme of case studies debates, networking opportunities, keynote speeches on crucial issues, from digitalisation to improving quality and sustainability.
- Digital Construction Hub – the show’s beating heart of innovation, the Digital Construction Hub will deliver a series of presentations and panel discussions including topics such as Information Management using BIM.
- CPD Hub – a mix of industry relevant CPD’s delivered by industry experts, association partners, government departments and exhibitors.
- Offsite Alliance Hub – three days of debate, looking at how to change the way we think about construction to deliver high quality homes for future generations.
In addition to the main stages, the Careers Centre will provide a series of talks aimed at those interested in a career in construction, whether that be graduates, students in further education, or those looking at a career change.
UKCW Birmingham will see over 6,000 products on display from over 300 exciting exhibitors including Bosch, Schneider Electric, Google, Graco Distribution, Wavin, Cemex, Hanson Plywood and many more. This year, the multi award-winning show has also attracted an abundance of overseas exhibitors, including brands from as far afield as Australia, India, Norway, Turkey and the UAE. With more than 75% of exhibitor slots already taken (full list available online here) UKCW Birmingham is on track to be the biggest and best yet.
Designed to connect the whole supply chain and be a catalyst for growth, UKCW Birmingham is the must-attend construction event this Autumn and is expecting around 25,000 attendees.
The 2022 show has an even stronger emphasis on future development in the industry and this year’s theme is Celebrating Culture Change in Construction that will be present throughout the show which is backed by all the industry’s leading organisations, including AICO, Bosch, Hanson, Northgate and Quadrant Building.
Key show features include:
- UKCW Role Model Awards – UKCW Birmingham will also host the UKCW Role Model Awards, celebrating the pioneers of construction. The award ceremony will be taking place on the main stage on 5th October
- Seminar programme – details of the comprehensive seminar programme and CPD opportunities will be revealed in July
- Innovation Zone – a dedicated showcase of innovative products
- UKCW Careers Fair – launched at the show in London and coming to Birmingham, get free face-face career advice and meet and network with top employers at the UKCW Careers Fair
Nathan Garnett, UKCW show director, commented: “This will be the seventh edition of our Birmingham show bringing together the whole industry. Following the hugely successful launch of the first-ever London show earlier this year, the standard has now been set for UK Construction Week Birmingham and we can’t wait to unveil the exciting plans and features we have in store for this year.
“Although the construction sector makes up a significant proportion of the UK’s working population, we’re all aware of the huge skills shortages in the industry, and with the impact of the global pandemic and current climate, the importance and the appetite to raise awareness of the fantastic opportunities in this sector has only increased. As one of the youngest and most dynamic cities in Europe, Birmingham is the ultimate setting for this show, and we can’t wait to be back.”
Co-located events at UKCW Birmingham include Timber Expo, Green Living Live (5-6 Oct only), and Grand Designs Live (5-6 Oct only). Ticket Holders will gain free access to all co-located events. There will also be an Institute of Builders Merchants conference on 5th October (paid for entry).
To register for UKCW Birmingham for free, go to UKCW Birmingham registrations
The construction industry needs to capitalise on the collaborative atmosphere created by this year’s MIPIM in order to meet the key challenges it faces, according to Andrew Carpenter, chief executive of Constructing Excellence Midlands.
Speaking in the wake of this year’s event – which was attended by more than 20,000 delegates from around the world – Carpenter says that while a collaborative spirit is alive and well in Cannes, it risks being wasted if not capitalised on at home.
“MIPIM has always been an ideal opportunity to meet the movers and shakers,” said Carpenter. “You can speak with the whole supply chain in one fell swoop, as well as some of the major policy creators and decision makers.
“The event is the nucleus of the collaborative culture that we believe the construction industry needs to ensure it moves forward at the required pace. However, it is how that is followed up that will make the key difference when it comes to creating a truly integrated supply chain.
“It’s our industry’s version of ‘a dog is for life, not just for Christmas’. It’s all well and good doing and saying the right things at MIPIM, but if that collaborative approach gets left at passport control on the way back into the UK, it’s just lip service and not something that is going to drive us forward.”
Carpenter – who is also chief executive of the Structural Timber Association – hosted a breakfast event during MIPIM, which discussed the use of timber as part of the government’s push for net zero. He believes this is a key example of where collaboration is needed in order for the ambitious targets to be met.
“With an eye on 2050 as the target for decarbonising all sectors of the UK economy, it is clear that this is not going to be anywhere near feasible for the construction industry if we aren’t working in lockstep.
“We as an industry are one of the biggest polluters on the planet, and we are at a crossroads in terms of how we tackle that.
“This is a key conversation that Constructing Excellence is having across its regions. We recently refined our theme groups – at which we discuss and define industry challenges – to create a dedicated workstream that focuses on strategic and collaborative research into how the climate crisis can be addressed. Conversations like this are a vital catalyst for continuous, long-term industry improvement, which is what Constructing Excellence is all about.
“We truly feel that the construction industry is at a critical juncture, and it’s our responsibility to make sure that we move forward together in the right direction.”
We had an excellent Summit on the 18th November in Birmingham
Please CLICK HERE to view or download the speaker presentations from the event
Following on from the awards we have surveyed our membership about future activities and events to build upon the member benefits of CE Midlands, a forthcoming Board awayday is planned to discuss the responses and plans for the future.
There are so many challenges currently in the construction sector – we have shortages of skilled workforce, professionals and materials and challenging that as we recover from Covid we have proposed regulatory changes under the Fire Safety Bill, continued strengthening of regulations and guidance.
Rather promisingly though is the growing momentum with modular and timber, we are going to have challenges in these sectors on higher rise but for now the lower rise is setting extremely high standards of quality control.
As we move towards the end of this year we at Salus are delighted to celebrate the 20 year milestone and the many celebrations that we will enjoy with our staff and clients
I do hope you enjoy reading the content of this months newsletter with the exciting events and member benefits planned.
Paul Meadows – Director, Salus Building control and Fire safety consultants Ltd
Judging the many excellent submissions to the CESW Awards 2021 presented Martyn Jones with his thought for the month: How we can we accelerate the pace of change and improve the spread and adoption of the best practice as demonstrated in our award-winning submissions?
The CESW Awards are recognised across the South West built environment as the biggest and brightest celebration of best practice.
They are the HEINEKEN of awards (other lagers are available), in that they reach all parts of our operating system from developers and clients through to consultants of all disciplines, main and specialist contractors and suppliers of materials and components.
They also celebrate leading practice in dealing with current issues such as pivoting from price to value, sustainability, quality and compliance, digitisation, integration and collaboration, and conservation and regeneration.
Every year our Awards capture exemplars of excellent practice and some of this year’s entries yet again provide some cracking demonstrations of our industry at its best. On this occasion, not only demonstrating best practice along Constructing Excellence lines but doing so whilst meeting the immense challenges presented by the pandemic.
But, why are aren’t these principles of best practice not being embraced more widely in the industry? And how do we accelerate the rate of change and the spread and adoption of this best practice to meet the challenges we face?
Here are some suggested guiding principles, all of which have long featured in the work of CESW, but which now need to be pursued with a much greater sense of urgency and resolve:
- Capitalising on the current sense of urgency to address the safety and sustainability of our products (past, current and future) and processes. To borrow a phrase, “never waste a good crisis”
- Acknowledging the complexity and challenges that the current change agenda presents but also the immense opportunities for change
- Catalysing efforts particularly around social and environmental innovations and investing time, energy and resources to progress beyond compliance to create greater value – and at pace
- Adopting outward looking, transformational and enabling leadership to stretch stakeholder expectations at all stages of the development process from Strategic Definition through to In Use
- Empowering people through the habit of learning, experimentation and innovation
- Creating spaces conducive to change and populating them with clusters of individuals with the passion, skills, commitment and energy to drive the change agenda
- Nurturing relationships based on values, trust and mutual competitive advantage
- Dismantling the barriers to change presented by our traditional operating system and achieving closer intra- and inter-organisational alignment
- Strategically coordinating the spread and adoption of innovations and focusing effort at pivotal points in our programmes, projects, and supply chains
Are you keen to play a leading role in grasping this once-in-a-generation opportunity to really transform construction? Then why not join one or more of our Thought Leadership Theme Groups?
- Construction Clients Group (open to those from Client organisations only)
- Procurement and Productivity
- Innovation and Sustainability
- SMART (Digital and Offsite)
- Quality and Compliance
- Health and Wellbeing
And if you are a young professional, or in the early stages of developing your career in the built environment, then why not join G4C in the SW? This offers the opportunity for you, as a young professional, to express your ideas as to how we should be reshaping the built environment. After all the future belongs to you.
Leading homelessness charity, SIFA Fireside is inviting the construction and civil engineering sector to be part of an innovative new concept called Building Employability. The new scheme seeks to increase training and employment opportunities across the West Midlands for people who have experienced homelessness or exploitation.
‘I pledge’ is the first phase of the programme targeting small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) from across the region. The ask is simple; pledge support for socially responsible approaches to recruitment that helps provide opportunities for people who have experienced homelessness and those who are vulnerably housed. The charity is asking organisations to make their pledge and be directly involved in developing the concept as we begin to think about the post COVID landscape.
Highway Traffic Management has been the first to pledge their support. Managing Director and SIFA Fireside Patron Greg Baldwin said about the scheme: “We are very excited to have been involved in the planning and now the launch of Building Employability with SIFA Fireside. They have supported us hugely in tackling hidden homelessness within our workforce and it’s time for us, and the businesses of Birmingham to come together and pledge in support of their objectives and the aims of this movement.”
Working closely with SIFA Fireside’s specialist Teams, our Building Employability partners will use our innovative employment model to offer clients job opportunities and training within their business.
SIFA Fireside’s Fundraising and Corporate Partnerships Manager, Melissa Roche, said: “COVID-19 has impacted heavily on individuals and businesses across the region, which is why now is a crucial time to look at how we can work together to develop clear pathways and increase the number of people that have access to sustainable employment and accommodation opportunities.
“The commercial sector plays a key role in tackling homelessness in the city and a number of our corporate partners have offered employment opportunities to our work ready clients. Pledging your support to Building Employability is the first step to extending our reach within the thriving building and construction industry in Birmingham. Building Employability is a long-term approach that we want to develop with partners that stimulates real change and action.”
If you’d like to find out more and pledge your interest to come on board and help us develop our Building Employability project, visit our pledge page HERE
CLICK HERE to view the SFBA Proposal PDF