Build back better with CEWales

Cat Griffith-Williams, the new CEO for CEWales sets out her vision and calls for the industry to work together to build on the great work done by Milica Kitson so we can build back better

As CEWales newly appointed CEO, taking over from the excellent work of Milica Kitson, I am keen to maintain the legacy set by Milica and continue to drive CEWales forward. I look forward to working with the entire sector and am encouraged by the dedication and passion shown by the CEWales board members. Like Milica has said “I’m chomping at the bit to get going.”

I have now picked up the baton in this relay race, only the first stage of the race was an epic leg, with Milica dedicating 18 years of her career to CEWales. Her commitment, passion and dedication is a shining example for all of us. Thank you Milica.

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to turn our world upside down, it is challenging us as a nation and as individuals in ways we never imagined. We often hear the adage that in challenge there is opportunity; perhaps our appreciation of each other is deepening but I also feel our understanding that we must work together is heightened. Collaboration has always been at the heart of the Constructing Excellence movement; never more so than in these uncertain times. There is the pressing need to come together as the united voice of the Welsh built environment sector, across the whole supply chain, ranging from traditional ‘on-site’ construction roles to ‘professional services’. This is why we need your support through CEWales membership to continue the momentum of the CE ethos – if you’re a member share the link and if you’re interested click here: CE Wales membership application

The construction and built environment sector is key to the economic development of Wales and is one of the Welsh Governments priority sectors. Its complexity makes it unique, being a large and dynamic sector, it represents a diverse range of skills, consisting of companies of varying sizes. It is also one of considerable change due to technological advances and changing building methods. This is why Constructing Excellence in Wales is key to driving a sustainable vision for the future for what the sector can deliver through innovation and continuous improvement. We are delighted to be a conduit to feeding the sectors issues, views and presenting the sectoral opportunities to the Welsh Construction Ministerial Forum which represents the public and private sector, to implement a post Covid-19 recovery plan, enable a sustainable business environment and plan to allow the sector to ‘Build back better’

I have already been struck by the diverse issues CEWales are involved with: the FG Commissioner’s, CLAW and 21st Century Schools work on developing a formal measure of monitoring the construction sector regarding the impact of the FG Act,  based on the RIBA stages and plan of work in which the long game is set to become the standard for construction projects in Wales. We are thrilled to be relaunching our Exemplar Programme: something worthy to be copied, which captures one or more of the core principles of CEWales. The programme is about to begin with Transport for Wales. CEWales is also contributing to the Construction Innovation Hub’s work, to feed in Welsh research on bottom up value profiling, as well as working with ‘Designed for Life: Building for Wales’ and Business Wales

CEWales also holds forums to inform our work programmes, with the Procurement Forum meeting this week. On this note, we would like to strengthen the CEWales Housing Forum and would very much welcome expressions of interest to form this group. All the content of the discussion’s we bring to the table are dependent on hearing your opinions and thoughts, hence your importance in contributing and supporting CEWales.

So, as we all deal with the issues of the present, let us embrace the opportunity to make the future even better. Next week we will be celebrating the 14th CEW awards, I have been really encouraged to see the excellent projects in Wales which demonstrate that, construction best practice is the finest way to build a better Wales for future generations. Your commitment to our Awards Programme has always been inspiring with 580 people being a part of the ceremony last year. We continue to rely on your support and passion to commit to driving positive change as demonstrated by all the excellent award entrants and our members who enable CEWales work to continue.

I’m really proud to be a part of the CE movement, acting as the conveyor of best practice for our members, key organisations, and business in Wales; to showcase best practice in Welsh Construction and the built environment. The CEW awards are a fantastic way to celebrate this pioneering work. It’s great to fundamentally celebrate success as well as addressing the amelioration within the sector.

I look forward to working with you all.