Whysall’s words: March 2018

On March 22nd I was proud to give the welcome speech at our annual reception on the terrace at the House of Commons. For those who missed it, here is an edited version:

“Thank you to Judith Cummmings, MP for Bradford South, who hosted us and Cara who sponsored the event, which was attended by 150 people, we hope everyone enjoyed it.

The event is to say thank you to our national members and funders, our regional and Club networks, our young generation network G4C, and to all the other supporters of Constructing Excellence including government departments and officials.

Award winners
A special welcome to a number of our National Award winners who came along. Our regional partners hold 8 regional awards events between them – the awards evenings attract over 4,000 people in total by the way. The regional winners then come to the national final and the “best of the best” were announced. I was pleased that about half of our 2017 winners exhibited at the event including:

  • People Development – Poole Dick (North West)
  • Integration & Collaborative Working – North West Construction Hub (North West)
  • Sustainability – Holywell Learning Campus – Galliford Try, Flintshire County Council, North Wales Construction Framework (Wales)
  • Digital Construction – Unlocking Rail Electrification Data – Costain & Arup (Wales)
  • Project of the Year – Civils – Leeds Flood Alleviation Scheme – Environment Agency + Leeds City Council, BAM / Mott MacDonald Joint Venture, Arup (Yorks & Humber)
  • Project of the Year – Buildings – Ysgol Bae Baglan – Bouygues UK (Wales)

Thank you to all those who supported these awards – as well as recognising excellence across the country, the events also raised over £26,000 for charity.

It was great to see G4C, Generation for Change,  the jewel in our crown, at the reception. As a former chair of G4C I am proud to champion their value now as co-chair. This is growing from strength to strength under a succession of outstanding chairs and board members. This year sees Robin Lapish and Caroline Key as new co-chairs. We are committed to increasing the influence of G4C, and I am proud that G4C co-chairs every national theme group, ensuring their leadership makes a difference across all our work.

If you haven’t got your talent connected into G4C then please do. They will be the group that drive the industry change and as Co-Chairs we are committed to helping them along the way.

They continue to expand with now nine regions and their own awards programme, and their annual conference on May 24th, ‘bouncing back – a new narrative for construction’. This will be an interactive event looking at how we can change the image of the industry.

Industrial Strategy, CLC, Sector Deal
We have been pleased to welcome and support the development of the Construction Leadership Council (CLC) and announcements of a Sector Deal under the government’s Industrial Strategy. We are working closely with the CLC and with colleagues in BRE, the Manufacturing Technology Centre and others to deliver a key part of this Deal, and we expect to have positive news for you before too long.

Our position is clear – we need to change the industry’s delivery model, and we have revised our mission statement to state explicitly that our mission is to positively disrupt the industry delivery process in order to transform performance. We have to change the delivery model to enable digitally-enabled offsite assembly, with integrated and collaborative teams brought together over the long-term through alignment of commercial arrangements formed around a clear and agreed articulation of value. If we can get government to lead the evolution of procurement models to be the catalyst for its way of working, I am absolutely certain, the industry will respond and change its business models. To this end we welcome announcements of a presumption of offsite construction by the major government departments by 2019 and well as the continued uptake of BIM as driven by the government’s mandate in this area.

Corporate Resilience
The collapse of Carillion in January brings further urgency to this reform agenda – and also kick-started a wide-ranging debate about the resilience of our sector. Carillion’s demise came as no surprise to those of us within the industry but seemed to shock many across the UK. When will people realise that a sector that is the catalyst for much of the UK’s economic and social prosperity cannot afford to be so fragile? One of our members, Project Five Consulting, has produced a timely evidence-based report on this topic, and the findings provide additional impetus to our agenda for change. We were pleased to launch this at the House of Commons, and you can download a copy in the article elsewhere in this newsletter.

Closing words
As ever, exciting times are ahead, and I hope everyone here will support the vision and the movement that is Constructing Excellence. As Co-Chairs we are determined to help our members through:

  1. Showcasing their innovation and excellence
  2. Connecting them to the industry’s future model
  3. Getting their talent ready to drive industry change
  4. Allowing them to measure their delivery performance

I really believe Constructing Excellence should be an industry currency that others seek to be part of. A symbol of Excellence that gives a competitive advantage to those who hold it.

Please get in touch with us at any time if you have any comments or idea for how we should move forward.

Words into Action
We have made 2018 a year of Words into Action – and I leave you with one call to action please. We need committed companies to join as national members. I invite every member here, and every non-member, to think of one client or immediate customer, and one supplier or immediate subcontractor, that you think should be members – and their being members will also help YOU get more value out of being members. Let us know who they are, and together we will approach them with a proposition to join.”