CEWales E Bulletin December 23

Christmas is coming and no doubt you are all trying to finish tasks in readiness of the seasonal break. I want to express our sincere gratitude to all our members and sponsors who have continued to support and engage with CEWales throughout 2023; we very much look forward to working with you all in 2024.

Anyone who follows the construction economists will have mixed feelings about 2024. The outlook looks tough and focus will be upon a UK general election as well as a Welsh leadership contest to replace Mark Drakeford by Easter recess 2024 and embed leadership before the Senedd elections in 2026. There is still the budget to pass with Finance Minister Rebecca Evans warning that it is going to be ‘….extremely difficult….actually decreasing in real terms next year and obviously that is going to have an impact on budgets of local authorities as well’. With a huge part of its budget essentially pre-committed to public service delivery, we therefore need to play to the strengths of our devolved powers and ensure that businesses are supported, to attract talent and underpin our ambitions for a prosperous, greener and an equal society. But, as we have reminded CEWales stakeholders before, Wales is different. Not unique, but special. Within the Welsh Governments Economic Mission there is a priority for modern methods of construction in home building and advance land for social and affordable homes whilst supporting partners to deliver low carbon quality homes. Demonstrating that our economy, our Welsh Government and our communities demand a particular type of construction sector. One that is defined by collaboration, integrated teams and best practice. The values we champion within the Construction Playbook and Rethinking Construction. Our shared vision within Constructing Excellence in Wales.

These values were obvious to me at our recent Senedd event celebrating the 2023 award winners for Constructing Excellence in Wales as well as the Consortium of Local Authorities in Wales. The event clearly demonstrated that what we do as an industry has a shared impact. We make no apology for wanting as many people as possible to appreciate just how positive that impact really is. So, we were very pleased that Hannah Blythyn MS, Deputy Minister for Social Partnership hosted the event and saw first-hand what our award-winning project teams deliver for Wales. We are also thrilled to have not only one but three CE National Award winners, taking the Net Zero, Health Safety & Wellbeing and Digital categories. CONGRATULATIONS!

It is this spirit that we must foster and share amongst us and our mutual networks to make sure we build right in 2024. You can help demonstrate this by coming to Wales’ Construction Summit on 25th January demonstrating that Wales is open for business 2024. Vaughan Gething MS, Minister for Economy and Constructing Excellence in Wales are hosting the Summit to explore the opportunities and challenges for Wales in the forthcoming years and to allow an in-depth exploration of the Welsh Built Environment’s position within the Economic Mission. The Economic Mission outlines Welsh Government’s intentions to make Wales one of the best places to initiate and sustain a competitive business, balanced quality of life and fair work opportunities for all.

This is an opportunity for you to let Ministers and Welsh Government Officials know your views and perspectives on the impact of the rapidly changing economic environment. It will also allow you to feed into our future thinking on and what the opportunities, risk factors and solutions are for the Welsh construction sector. https://www.cewales.org.uk/events/details/091DD2A7-A329-89FF-5BEB-6B528884AB42/

We will also be focusing on our esteemed awards and are setting up drop-in sessions for best practice advice on our celebrated CEW Awards. Again, look out for more details but they are live now! https://www.cewales.org.uk/cew-awards/2024/

2024, will, like this year, have its own challenges and it will also have its own rewards and outcomes. We are stronger together and as a collaborative team. We can overcome what presents itself if we adhere to the values of Constructing Excellence.

Your continued support has enabled CEWales to continue and thrive, to which we are thankful. We wish you, your families and your businesses a very happy Christmas and a new year full of hope.

If you want to find out more or become involved directly – you know where we are.

Happy Christmas

Cat, Sue and CEWales Board of Directors