February Overview – Mark Wakeford
2024 is well underway, the Christmas break is but a distant memory and the risks of an economic catastrophe appear to be receding. This year however, we also have an election, when we are asked to make bold requests of potential governments who are looking for votes and easy wins within industrial sectors. There are many areas in which any new Government coming into power may wish to act, including skills, technology and specifically the role of AI within society and the growing green movement.
These are all areas that can affect our industry massively and now is the time to approach your MP to provide answers to the challenges ahead, should you wish to influence policies in these areas. Luckily, these subjects are all covered within our active and focused theme groups and if you would like to join these, to be part of the debate on how these changes might affect your work, then I know that you will be most welcome.
These three areas are likely to have a significant impact on our organisations to the end of the decade. Consequently, they are areas that companies ought to be thinking about to understand how they can use them to their advantage. Companies are already getting closer to their local FE colleges to better understand qualifications and the flow of new requits. The Board of CE Midlands is also looking to see if we can find sponsors for our adopt a school campaign, given the importance of recruitment to our sector.
AI is becoming prevalent in many of our activities, from generative design to chatbots on our websites and help centres. The green movement continues to gather momentum. We can see the large accountancy companies preparing for full carbon accounting, where companies must account for the carbon into and out of our businesses. This is akin to our annual accounts, but using carbon instead of money.
Constructing Excellence Midlands continues to be at the forefront of these discussions, supporting and helping companies identify the opportunities amongst all this change. Our theme groups are involved and focused on the big areas of change within construction. G4C, our younger persons group, continues to grow as companies recognise the value in collaboration and understanding across a much broader set of stakeholders, particularly for the generation that must effect these changes and our regional clubs remain active to provide a local source of information and networking.
CE Midlands itself continues to provide fantastic events and we are looking forward to our annual AGM in Birmingham this month. I urge all members to make the most of your membership. The old adage that “the more you put in the more you get out” is never truer in times of change and your club provides a range of thought leadership programmes for staff from across your companies to learn and contribute to.
Proud to be vice-Chair of CE Midlands