Celebrating success in construction

This week sees Constructing Excellence in Wales call for entries to the 11th running of its awards celebrating the success of Welsh construction. The launch of the 2017 CEW Awards comes a week after Lesley Griffiths, Welsh Government cabinet secretary for environment and rural affairs, attended an event at the Senedd showcasing the 2016 winners

This week sees Constructing Excellence in Wales call for entries to the 11th running of its awards celebrating the success of Welsh construction. The launch of the 2017 CEW Awards comes a week after Lesley Griffiths, Welsh Government cabinet secretary for environment and rural affairs, attended an event at the Senedd showcasing the 2016 winners.

The Senedd event, which was jointly-hosted by the CEW, ICE Wales and CECA promoted the central role construction has in creating a sustainable, built environment and supporting the aims of the Future Generations Act.

The awards themselves encourage best practice across the construction industry in Wales and recognise the variety of activities, skills and areas of expertise that make up the construction sector. The winners are exemplars and demonstrate what the building and civil engineering industry are doing right in Wales, helping to deliver our policies and programmes.

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Project of the Year: Civil. A465 Dualling Section 3. Delivering more than just a road, Carillion Civil Engineering

Because right across Welsh construction, not just the award winners, great efforts are being made to work collaboratively, to partner with clients, to engage with communities and to focus on value not price. Key to the long-term success of the construction industry, but also the impact construction has on our lives at work, at home, in our education and healthcare and our infrastructure is a focus on outcomes, not short-term cost savings.

Lesley Griffiths said last week: "The principles championed by Constructing Excellence of promoting collaborative working, learning and continuous improvement is key if we seek to obtain the maximum benefit from the money we spend in construction given the resources we use. A strong and efficient construction sector is essential for our future well-being and the Welsh Government fully recognises the challenges ahead we face together."

To make sure we all come together as an industry and unite to address the challenges ahead – which include renewed resistance arguments about adversarial working and price-driven tendering – we need to learn from what has gone well. That is why we never tire of showcasing the CEW award winners. Look at these facts: the CEW award-winning projects and organisations represent more than £4.5bn. Around £1bn spent within 20 miles of the site and 78% of the spend remained in Wales. We estimate that approximately 2,000 apprenticeships can be directly linked to the CEW award schemes – ie. as a direct result of best practice and focusing on outcomes and value more work is created and that value remains in Wales.

If we stick to this plan. If we work together, if we strive to remind people that best practice works then as an industry construction in Wales can deliver the Future Generation goals and principles now.

The winning projects on show at the Senedd last week and the entries for the 2017 demonstrate how a collaborative, long-term approach to concept, design and delivery can achieve so much more for the people of Wales.