Category: Skills Shortage

Dark and true and technological is the North: Digitising the region

At a recent Constructing Excellence breakfast event we held, we were particularly struck by a statistic from a recent McKinsey Global Institute (MGI) study which proposed that in terms of digitisation, the construction industry lags dramatically behind those in other classically undigitalised sectors and in fact ranks only above farming and agriculture. Having been heavily involved in promoting digital construction across the region and beyond we felt that in light of this statistic it was important to explore our impression of where the industry is and specifically where Yorkshire and Humber currently places in order to meet the demands of the future.

Screen shot from MyConsole presentation at Constructing Excellence breakfast event on 26th April 2017.

We at Constructing Excellence Yorkshire and Humber (CEYH), part of the Leeds Beckett University School of Built Environment and Engineering have been running digitally focussed events through our thinkBIM network for over five years now and have overseen a massive growth in digital uptake across the region. Originally set up as a network to promote the advancement of BIM (Building Information Modelling) our remit has broadened to highlight new technologies and digital processes and their current and future uses.

When we started, the events were definitely for the innovators and early adopters, particularly in larger companies with SMEs being a little unsure of dipping their toe in the water; early problems being the choices of software available, balancing the cost of adoption with business needs and lack of clarity in contractual BIM requirements – all issues which we have had to address through events and targeted 1:1 support. As the network has expanded though, so has the industry’s understanding of the benefits of digital adoption, and this along with the publishing of the Digital Built Britain strategy in 2015 has helped to demystify some of the processes and improved knowledge and uptake of digital tools and processes across the region.

Even in these early days of digital adoption we saw how local organisations were at the cutting edge of the technological innovation that was unfolding. Not always on the large and prestigious projects but on smaller schemes like the laser scanning of the Orangery in Wakefield by DLA Design which showed what was possible already. We also witnessed the great work done by BAM at First Direct Arena working with their designers, structural steelworkers and precast concrete manufacturers who collaborated together using coordinated models form each organisation to resolve issues with the design, create and more effective design and improve the outcomes for the site team. By working together the team delivered an innovative and award winning venue for the city of Leeds.

Federated model image submitted by A1L2B, a Carillion Morgan Sindall Joint Venture, as part of their winning entry in CEYH Awards 2015

The region has also seen the digitisation of infrastructure schemes too. The award winning A1 Improvement scheme from Leeming to Barton, a Carillion Morgan Sindall Joint Venture demonstrated many new and innovative ways to use digital data to assist with stakeholder engagement as well as collecting real time digital quality records during the course of the works too. Over at Immingham, Costain used the combined, federated, model of their scheme to accurately and successfully plan a 76 hour possession over Christmas 2015 where the team jacked a 5000 tonne bridge into place under the busiest freight railway line in the UK. All this was achieved by creating a digital programme that was meticulously planned, checked and reviewed by the project team, Highways England and Network Rail.

Solius Group virtual reality demonstration at thinkBIM conference in April 2017

More recently the thinkBIM network has been able to lift the lid on the future with demonstrations of Augmented Realities and Virtual Realities. These technologies are actually starting to become widespread too as more and more businesses start to see ways to use gaming technology for customer engagement, construction rehearsals and health and safety briefings as well as for operations teams to better understand the assets that they are maintaining with a level of efficiency previously unheard of. #itsBIMupNorth not just a hashtag but proof that Yorkshire really is a centre of excellence for the digital delivery of projects.

But the key thing here is not the technology, but the people behind it. As Steve Jobs once said “Technology is nothing. What’s important is that you have a faith in people, that they’re basically good and smart, and if you give them tools, they’ll do wonderful things with them”. From a niche group of technically minded people the thinkBIM network has grown to reflect and support a much wider community focussed on working more efficiently and who adopt a whole lifecycle approach not just procuring data for the physical asset alone. And here-in lies the challenge going forward, ensuring the industry is constantly recruiting and upskilling the individuals and teams who are able to exploit the opportunity technology offers.

Let us know your thoughts of where the industry is and where it needs to be and where you see the future of digital technologies for construction.

 

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Support the construction professionals of the future!

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The School of Built Environment and Engineering at Leeds Beckett University would like to invite you to attend presentations by Leeds Beckett University final year construction students and project management students at:

Lecture Theatre 222, Northern Terrace, Queen Square Court, Leeds, LS2 8AG

Friday 19th May 2017.

 The event will begin at 10.00 with tea/coffee/registration concluding over a free buffet lunch to enjoy networking with the students and academic staff.

This year, we have around 40 final year Construction Management and Project Management students, who have been asked to organise themselves into the Management Team of a Construction Company, each seeking to obtain a Design and Build contract for a Phase 2 development of our Rose Bowl Building.

Their presentations will consider aspects such as building design, construction technology, site layout, building services and project management.

To help with catering, please could confirm your attendance by email to d.roberts@leedsbeckett.ac.uk

Buildforce Northern Alliance Launch

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A new initiative connecting service leaders and veterans with construction careers

A message from Caroline Logan, Buildforce

Following the success of the launch event at the Tower of London in January, our alliance is rapidly expanding and are excited to have a growing presence in the North. With over 140 Service Leavers and Veterans registered already, we need to know we have the opportunities and mentors in place throughout the United Kingdom to offer support and guidance.

We have now put plans in place to mobilise a Northern BuildForce Alliance to complement our Southern Alliance; the inaugural meeting is being held on 25th May 2017 at the KCOM Craven Park Stadium in Hull between 2 -5 pm.  The venue itself has been provided free of charge thanks to the generosity of Hull Kingston Rovers RLFC and the Hull Kingston Rovers Community Trust as part of their commitment to the Military Covenant and of supporting initiatives that improve life’s chances of ex-Forces personnel.

We would like to enlist your support and ask you to reach out to any fellow construction companies, construction related companies and consultants, both large and small and encourage them to attend and become a part of our Alliance.  We will be asking for your input, advice and guidance on the best ways to execute BuildForce, in order to maximise its potential across the industry.

Please confirm your attendance to info@buildforce.org.uk  and forward to any interested colleagues.

A list of our FAQs and further information can also be found on our BuildForce website: buildforce.org.uk

You can also download our industry information pack which will give you more details about how to get involved.

Hope to see you there!

 

Tackling the Skills Gap at CEYH May Breakfast seminar

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 Julie Deeley, Futureworks Yorkshire

On 25th May we held the second of our Hull based Constructing Excellence breakfasts at Gosschalks Solicitors, this time tackling one of the most prevalent issues in the industry at the moment, the skills shortage. It has been predicted that the industry will create around 190,000 new jobs by the end of 2018 but the growing fear is that the talent will not be there to fill those posts. At our event we heard from Futureworks Yorkshire and Wates Group on how they are working to create apprenticeships and encourage new entrants to our industry in order to try and tackle this deificit.

Debbie Hall, Business Reporter at Hull Daily Mail has done a summary of the main points in her  article dated 31st May (link here). The article has also been reproduced below for ease.

 

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 L-R Angie Eardley (Wates), Janet Mulcrone (Leeds Beckett), Tom Oulton (CEYH), Liz Schofield (CEYH), Matthew Fletcher (Gosschalks)

Construction firms urged to help tackle impending shortage in talent

COMPANIES are being urged to help tackle the skills shortage in the construction industry. The issue was the focus of an “excellence breakfast” hosted by Hull law firm Gosschalks. The event, organised by Constructing Excellence in Yorkshire & Humber (CEYH), was held amid growing fears there will not be sufficient talent within the country to fill the predicted 190,000 new jobs that will be created in construction by the end of 2018. The industry is seen as one of the leading pillars of the UK economy and the lack of required skills could have a huge impact on economic recovery, according to CEYH. The event saw more than 30 delegates from a range of contractors, councils, training groups and construction consultancies, in attendance.

Steve Savage, Development Director at Gosschalks, opened the proceedings and Tom Oulton, chairman of CEYH, gave an introduction in which he spoke about the Government’s Construction Strategy for 2016 to 2020, which sets out to increase productivity in government construction to deliver £1.7bn efficiencies and support 20,000 apprenticeships over the period.

One of the speakers was Julie Deeley, operations manager for Futureworks Yorkshire, one of the organisations working to tackle the skills deficit and nurture homegrown talent. She offered insight into how Futureworks is working with construction companies, local organisations and communities across Yorkshire to offer increased apprenticeships and work experience opportunities. Ms Deeley said: “It is not about providing all the answers today, it is about opening your mind to what your company can do about meeting this skills shortage.” Futureworks is based in Hull and Rotherham and delivers the award- winning YORfuture scheme across the Yorkshire and Humber region. It provides apprenticeships within the sector, including technical, trades, administration and manufacturing/distribution roles.

Ms Deeley told delegates that the YORfuture shared apprenticeship scheme provided a solution to apprenticeship recruitment when employers may not have the resources to take apprentices on a full-time basis. Asked about the difficulty of encouraging schools to see the opportunities that exist in the industry, Ms Deeley said: “What we need to do is get out there as much as possible and put out the word on construction and what a good career it is. We need, as a sector, to get the message out that there are many different careers you can have in construction, in particular for females. ”

Another speaker was Angie Eardley, community investment adviser at Wates Group, a family-owned construction company that is currently helping to create an £80m housing development in Hull for people with care needs. She spoke to the audience about the group’s community investment commitments and it’s supply chain and social enterprise engagement. The delegates heard the CITB, the national training organisation for construction in the UK, has reported that another 230,000 workers will be needed in the construction sector in the next five years – a figure that equates to 3,230 people each year in the Yorkshire and Humber region.

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Julie and Angie’s presentations along with a storify of the best tweets/images from the morning can be viewed at the links below.

 Click below for full Presentations from 25th May 2016

Skills Excellence: Closing the Gap – join us on 25th May 2016 for our next CEYH breakfast event

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Building Futures Sponsored by Wates

The skills shortage in construction has been widely reported by much of our media and with good reason. It has been predicted that the industry will create around 190,000 new jobs by the end of 2018 but there is a growing fear that there will not be the talent within the country to fill them. The construction industry is one of leading pillars of the UK economy and therefore lack of required skills could have a huge impact on our economic recovery.

At our breakfast event at the end of May we will hear from Futureworks Yorkshire, one of the organisations who are trying to tackle this deficit. Julie Deeley, Operations Manager, will be giving examples of how they work with construction companies, local organisations and communities across Yorkshire to offer increased apprenticeships and work experience opportunities.

We will also hear from Angie Eardley, Regional Community Investment Advisor and Richard Vause, Project Manager both from Wates Group who will give practical examples of the positive steps Wates are taking on their projects/sites to encourage new entrants into our industry.

Find out how you and your organisation can do more at this FREE breakfast event. Booking via the link below.

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To get involved join us at Gosschalks Solicitors

Queens Gardens, Dock Street, Hull, East Yorkshire, HU1 3DZ

09:30-10:30 (registration from 09:00)

Click here to book your FREE place!

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