CEWales E Bulletin April 2020

Chief Executive, Milica Kitson, calls for better behaviours and strong leadership at this time of crisis for the country and construction

Welcome to the April newsletter.

Tough times call for strong responses.

It’s not easy for anyone. These are unprecedented times. But should we expect more from key decision makers? Are we seeing clear, strong and consistent responses from our leaders right now? Both the UK and Welsh Government is offering support for business and the economy through various rescue packages but the whole process has been confused.

More worrying for our industry is that the message to construction has been confused. And that doubt, that gap, allows for bad practice to continue. It also prevents proper planning to allow us to prepare for when COVID19 is over.

Right now, our sector is doing remarkable work that needs to be celebrated. The delivery of field hospitals across Wales from Swansea and Llanelli to Cardiff, Deeside and Bangor are showing our industry at its best. However, at the same time clients are holding organisations to account at a time when a collaborative measured response would be far more mature. Payment terms need to be negotiated and eased, not enforced. Non-essential work needs to be discussed. Supply chains need managing. Staff need protecting. Everyone needs to collaborate, talk, share and learn. Now is not the time for adversarial behaviours.

CEWales is working hard to talk to Government, working in partnership with other industry representative bodies to educate, inform and advise on policy. Right now, it is clear that Government needs one voice to liaise with on behalf of construction – in England Build UK and the Construction Leadership Council is taking the lead. CEWales is working with the IoD, CLAW, CECA Wales and ICE Cymru, the FMB and NFB to find a way to make sure our industry is not isolated, confused, misled, and take for granted.

This is the first CEWales newsletter for some time. There has been a lot going on and we were well aware that our members and stakeholders have been receiving many, many emails and messages from ourselves and other groups offering advice, mentioning events, and sharing news. We have also had to make cuts. We are dependent on membership  fees for our income but now is a sensitive time and whilst we need the money to do our work it feels tough to demand that money from an industry caught in a social, medical and economic crossfire. So, now is a time to hold tight. Stick to what we know best – collaborate, share best practice, and speak truth to power.