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January Overview from Chair, Uma Shanker
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.