The Midlands Construction Summit is to be held in September 2016 and the Ricoh Arena, Coventry. For the first time, the Summit will be held alongside the Midlands Construction Expo. The combined conference and exhibition will bring together a range of supply chain specialists and industry leaders to discuss topical issues in the Midlands construction industry.
This year’s Summit is to be based around three key themes – image, skills and productivity.
Image is an ongoing concern for the UK construction industry. There is a growing need for the sector to change perceptions in order for it to become appealing to the younger generation. For an industry that is making such huge advances in technology through the use of Building Information Modelling (BIM) and offsite construction, the sector is often still viewed as high vis jackets, muddy boots and cold construction sites. It is crucial that the industry demonstrates emerging opportunities that relate to technology and factory based construction. The proportion of women has also recently reached a three year low with women now only making up 11.2% of the construction workforce. It is clear that the industry is crying out for new workers and that it must try to embrace and attract a broad, more diverse, working population.
Skills in construction are linked directly to image. The UK’s construction industry is facing its greatest skills crisis since 1998, according to a survey released by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS). Bricklayers and quantity surveyors are currently in the shortest supply. With the industry growing steadily through an increase in construction projects, particularly in private housing and commercial, it is crucial that the skills gap is addressed and young, talented individuals are trained and brought into the sector.
Productivity is directly affected by a wider range of factors, including; skills, resource, planning, logistics and supply chain efficiency. The global digital revolution offers much to the construction sector in terms of fostering innovation and improving productivity within the sector. BIM and the Internet of Things (IoT) are the two most obvious areas which are beginning to encourage more innovative ways of working. Collaboration throughout supply chains and addressing the efficient use of new technologies will both help towards the improvement of productivity.
These three issues and more will all be discussed at this year’s Midlands Construction Summit with additional focus being on the innovative, new Midlands Engine strategy set out by the Government with the view for regional stakeholders to work together more closely to achieve greater regional economic growth and productivity improvement.
To find out more about the Midlands Construction Summit and Expo please visit the website: http://www.midlandsconstructionsummit.co.uk/