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Mark Wakeford – January Overview

Happy New Year to members of Constructing Excellence Midlands.  Let’s hope that the issues that we slid into last year are ones that we can come out from stronger, more focused and better prepared during this year.

New Year is a time for resolutions and whilst I firmly believe that “A resolution is not just for Christmas”, the holiday does allow for a period of reflection and I suggest renewed resolutions for our industry might be:

To take the mental health of my team very seriously and encourage pro-active support of staff and all our wider stakeholders.  Construction workers are under greater stress than before Covid, with pressures at home through protecting loved ones and at work through different processes and procedures.  We are also each other’s livelihoods and we must look after each other if we are to prosper.

To recruit, train and support our younger colleagues.  With all the pressures that our businesses face it is all too easy to pause recruitment of young talent.  Many of us know, through bitter experience, that these fallow periods leave a long shadow on our companies, as we miss out on a cohort of home grown expertise.  With low levels of recruitment nationally there are some great young recruits waiting to be hired and plenty here within the Midlands.

Our excellent Universities and Colleges are a great place to start looking.  Part of this resolution is work on mentorship of younger colleagues.  My own journey into the industry was encouraged by mentors who gave me my ethics and an authority to challenge, (provided I first listened very carefully!).  This breadth of knowledge and expectation makes these youngsters invaluable in our businesses much more quickly and much better at manging the change facing our industry.

To reduce the carbon footprint of my business and those of my customers.  2021 will be the year that the UK takes climate change seriously.  COP26, the international UN Climate Change conference is being hosted in the UK in November.  Our industry that accounts for over 10% of the UK’s carbon and can influence a massive 46%, can expect plenty of challenge and opportunity this year.

Nicki, my wife, has plenty more for me.  Unfortunately, I’ve had to tell her that “working less this year” is not going to be particularly feasible this year!  I am though looking forward to the challenges and working with great people to get through what promises to be an interesting and exciting year.  Please do not forget that Constructing Excellence Midlands stands ready to support you and your organisations, to aid collaboration and to strengthen our regional industry.

May I wish you a happy, safe and prosperous 2021 from all at CE Midlands.

Mark Wakeford

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