CEWales E Bulletin October 23
Welsh Government and the Built Environment come together. The Minister for Economy Vaughan Gething joined CEWales this week at a round table event in Ty Hwyel, as part of the ‘Building the Future Commission’, Assemble Media Group.
The event saw leading figures in the sector, including architects, engineers, contractors and energy specialists, all sharing their insights and experience of working in Wales. We collectively examined the solutions to the risks faced by SMEs in Wales, and the subsequent effects for the industry and the opportunities, like the drive to Net Zero Carbon, Wellbeing for Future Generations Act and supply chain agility to be able to respond to these challenges. We drew out the key challenges facing SME’s around pipeline of work, skills and training, procurement and payment as well as the opportunities for construction firms working in Wales. The optimism centred on the fact, that Wales is open for business. An article will be published in Building Magazine covering the issues discussed and the recommendations for change that would have the biggest impact on the Welsh market.
Accelerating Construction Transformation
This week gave me great pleasure to be invited and deliver the opening speech for the inaugural Building Systems UK ‘Accelerating Construction Transformation’ event (ACT2023), an enterprise of Tata Steel UK in Shotton, North Wales.ACT2023 brought together construction supply chain experts, from client to manufacturer, to discuss and demonstrate the pathways being taken on the journey to Construction Transformation – the challenge to deliver a more productive and sustainable construction sector.
ACT2023 was a unique opportunity to attend a large-scale production tour for building products, to see a ‘live build’ utilising modern methods of construction and how digital integration plays a critical role. We looked at platform construction and DfMA, which can play important roles in construction transformation. I was given the chance to cover some key examples of how the construction sector and Welsh Government are working closely in ensuring more future new build and retrofit projects are designed with sustainability at the forefront and the importance of close collaboration within the construction supply chains.
When I was asked to speak at the event, my first thought was ‘wow’ where do I begin………. but the one thing that jumped to my mind was the fact that what remains a constant in construction is change, construction remains a great enabler for the Welsh economy despite facing major challenges and uncertainty. But it is the way that WE collectively responded to these challenges is what really matters. Delivering through multi-disciplinary collaboration, collaborative contracts, projects, joint ventures, in a sustainable manor; gives Wales a real competitive advantage and remains a priority across the entire construction sector value chain, both in the public and private sectors. Net zero also creates opportunity; we have a challenge to overcome, but it also provides us with the chance to reinvent how we choose to live and to create a better legacy for future generations.
We are seeing ways in which Wales are preparing for renewable energy 2050. The National Infrastructure Commission for Wales (NICW) has a role in identifying future infrastructure needs, opportunities and challenges to implementation. In the launch of its latest report last week, Preparing Wales for a Renewable Energy 2050, key recommendations have been made to assist the Welsh Government in accelerating the deployment of renewable electricity across Wales and achieving a net zero Wales by 2050. In this latest report it provides eleven recommendations to Welsh Ministers on how changes can be made to enhance renewable energy development in Wales that best meets the needs of Welsh communities. Welsh Government have also launched their consultation on Net Zero Sector Skills, which if you are a last-minute kind of person you can work on it over the Christmas break as the deadline is NYE.