Think big; think Wales; think construction
4th September 2012
Everyone knows that Wales needs serious investment in its infrastructure. The Welsh Government has already identified a number of vitally important schemes within its Welsh Infrastructure Investment Plan (WIIP) stressing the benefits to Wales when they are completed both in terms of jobs for the local communities they affect as well as the wider economy. But should we be thinking bigger and bolder?
This doesn’t mean that the Welsh Government has got it wrong. We believe by taking a different point of view and adopting a bolder approach to what is going to benefit Wales we can create a blue print for a truly world class Welsh built environment. Welsh construction can go much further than anyone believes: all it needs is a chance to prove itself. By working hand in hand with Welsh Government industry can help create a document that takes the great work in the WIIP and then adds a bit of fuel injection to take it even further.
An approach similar to that taken for the delivery of the London 2012 Games is needed in Wales. Just as the London Olympics has galvanised and showcased the skill and tenacity of UK construction, the same results can be achieved in Wales for the Commonwealth Games if Cardiff makes a bid to host the 2026 Games. Welsh commercial property will be boosted. Welsh jobs will be boosted. A ripple effect can be achieved across all the major projects needing to be delivered in Wales and Welsh construction will be the delivery mechanism.
But major projects can only be delivered via a team approach. That team has to encompass the whole Welsh construction sector – the entire supply chain from specialist SME, product suppliers to designers, engineers and builders. It needs a focus. It needs the support and leadership of Government.
We think that focus can come from the industry and Government working together. So far the Welsh Government is moving in the right direction but with an open dialogue, or even partnership with the construction industry we believe a lot more can be achieved for Wales – faster and better. That’s why CEW is aiming to influence the delivery of these major projects by setting up a new task group to interact with Government. Our next step is to talk to the appropriate Ministers and produce a report that underlines exactly what Welsh construction can do for Wales.
Last time we did something like this Government backed us and commissioned a total rethink of procurement. That was called No Turning Back. Now it is time to move forward together and think bigger.