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Constructing Excellence: bosses out of step with reform effort

Industry bosses must “up their game” by doing more to attract future leaders and prevent the brain-drain to other industries, says the NeverWaste a Good Crisis review.

“Graduates leave university with a technical qualification. Institutions will guide them to professional status. You have to convert them into people you would trust to lead and grow your business,” says the report. “Steal some ideas from other sectors that understand what graduate and professional training really means,” it adds.

The report hits out at complacency among the industry’s senior management. It questions whether industry bosses are up to the task of delivering infrastructure for the next 60 years in the face of the low carbon challenge.

“The younger generation is telling you to look at construction as part of a wider and much more important process that delivers the built environment. “You should be building stuff now that is still fit for purpose in 2070. Are you?” the report asks.

It adds that a lack of awareness of the whole life cycle concept remains the industry’s “fundamental problem”. If this were better understood, the industry could make the claim to generating almost 20% of GDP, rather than the 6% to 7% accounted for by construction output alone. This would then throw attention on how the industry can add value in the use of facilities, and put far more emphasis on design.

“Above all, we need leaders who can engage the public and key stakeholders about the ‘new value’ the built environment brings. If our present leaders do not feel up to the task they should at least support the development of the next generation, who appear to understand very clearly what is needed,” warns the report.

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