CEWales E Bulletin July 2020

Andrew Brown, Director of CEWales puts fitness into perspective and says farewell to a great leader

Welcome to the July, CEWales newsletter – the last one for the summer.

Times are changing. The world is not the same as it was in February and everyone is adjusting. We cannot, as management consultants are fond of saying, continue to carry on doing things the same way as we have before because it is not the route to improvement. COVID19 has focused the minds of everyone and this was a theme at the first meeting of the Welsh Ministerial Construction Forum held in early July. An abridged version of the official statement is in the newsletter. The reason for the coming together of the Welsh construction industry and Government is to make sure there is a united voice and a coherent plan to Build Back Wales. The WCFA 12-point short term plan focussing on what we build, why and how we build in the future is the starting point. The foundation. The goal is an industry agreed long-term plan to support sustainable businesses and to build back better by September.

To make that plan work means adjustments. New ways of thinking, fresh approaches to problem solving. It should mean a re-writing of the rules of engagement. That means get fit.

In the CEWales discussion paper Building Back Wales, we referred to fitness. We clearly stated that the Welsh construction industry is not fit at the moment. That annoyed people. The criticism was fair, so let’s put it in context.

Welsh construction is a brilliant and remarkable sector, often delivering outstanding projects. However, just as a successful international sportsman wins plaudits, on occasion they hit a poor run of form or are simply injured, lacking the shape required to perform at the desired level, i.e. not fit. That’s what we are saying about Welsh construction. CEWales and its board are big supporters of the industry – it’s why we stick with the arguments of best value and collaboration. But taken as a whole the sector needs to go into training and do some serious physio work on issues like procurement, payment rates, adopting modern methods of construction and accepting the targets and values in the WFG Act.

Like all great teams we will pull together and Wales will Build Back Better.

But that process will be done with a different leader of CEWales. In another story in the newsletter we share the news that Milica Kitson is stepping down as CEO from the end of August. That is a big change. Too many of us Milica is Welsh construction, not just the face and embodiment of CEWales. Welsh Construction will miss Milica Kitson’s leadership. But her family – particularly their grandchildren will make the most of our loss.

Thank you Milica.