Welcome to our December E Bulletin

Andrew Brown, Director of CEWales, wraps up some presents and 2019 and looks forward to the New Year and fresh challenges

2019 is almost over. But there is still a lot to do and consider. The Welsh Government is announcing its budget. The Future Generations Commissioner, Sophie Howe is looking for specifics within the budget that prove the Government is backing its commitment to the Wellbeing Future Generations Act.

Everyone is holding their breath about what the UK Government may or may not honour amongst the raft of promises and commitments it made during the election. The general consensus is that not much will be different across the economy and within construction for a period of months – perhaps into 2021 – but even if the UK Government only see through some of its ideas, or Welsh Government pursue some of its own, then construction will be looking forward to busier workloads. You can see some thoughts from Positif in the newsletter – let us know what you think.

One question remains: what will be required to be built or repaired and will the process be one that is in line with sustainable development goals? That is an increasingly important theme. It is why CE Wales held the first leadership forum focussed on Constructing for Future Generations. It's why there was a conference on flooding last week. It is why everyone speaking at the Senedd event to celebrate our award winners referred to Wellbeing Future Generations Act and to climate change. It is why the ICE tweeted this: "#DidYouKnow If each UK adult sent one less email a day, we would save over 16,433 tonnes of carbon a year - the same as 81,152 flights to Madrid." It is also why CEWales held a very successful event with Extinction Rebellion and why we will be running more events with them in the New Year. Click on this link to see the slides from the event.

We have to start somewhere. For the construction industry it is partly about process, procurement and management of supply chains. But it is also about what is being built and challenging the design, planning and even asking why it is being built. It is even worth checking how people will travel to whatever you are building – take a look at our piece about giving WelTAG some WELLIE.

One thing is definitely changing in 2020. Our leader and CEO Milica Kitson is stepping down at Easter. It has been no secret that Milica has wanted to retire and that CEWales has been looking for a new CEO, but we had no timeline until now. After almost 20-years of working for change and improving the business process of construction in Wales and overseeing the change from grant funded quasi-government body to a membership representative organisation now is the right time. There are not really enough words to sum up her work, commitment and strength of character – so maybe the tributes can wait until Easter!

However, what does happen now is the search for a replacement for Milica ramps up. We will be talking to members about the proposal to second someone as CEO. But we are open to suggestions and other ideas for alternatives. The role of CEO is challenging and rewarding. It gives the unique chance to drive real change in Welsh construction, make lifelong connections with decision makers throughout the supply chain and the opportunity to network at Government and national level. For the right individual it offers a tremendous step up in their career path. Do please have a think about this – read the last story in the newsletter for further inspiration and do get in touch.