The “enormous contribution” made by the construction industry to the Olympics has been highlighted by the incoming president of the Building & Engineering Services Association.
Speaking at the annual general meeting of the Association, Sue Sharp invited her fellow members to reflect on the words of Howard Shiplee, Olympics construction director, to the effect that “we are now a beacon of hope, demonstrating on a world stage what our industry can do”.
“I am sure that is a sentiment from which we can all draw strength in facing a future which continues to look less than rosy,” the president told her audience.
“Every day, it seemed, a new set of predictions were released – bringing in their wake a new set of problems, challenges and threats to commercial recovery.
“But if our businesses are to survive and grow in the long term, we must move forward in the belief that the recession will end some day, that the nation will return to some semblance of prosperity,” Ms Sharp insisted.
She added that it was “ the over-riding duty” of B&ES to assist its members not only to stay afloat in the short term, but “to put in place the building blocks with which they can construct a profitable and enduring future”.
The Plan for Change document – which was published in the autumn of last year as a blueprint for the re-positioning of the Association – had attracted the overwhelming support of the membership, and had consisted principally of four key elements.
“Firstly, we must promote – to clients and the supply chain as a whole – our unrivalled quality, competence and professionalism, as underpinned by our independent member inspection and assessment regime,” she said.
“Secondly, we must emphasise our expertise in the renewable technologies that are crucial to the creation of a genuinely sustainable built environment.
“Thirdly, we must update and expand our already definitive library of technical specifications and guides to good practice to reflect the extent of the B&ES footprint.
“And, fourthly, we must further enhance our standing and influence with government and, wherever appropriate, form alliances with other like-minded organisations to ensure that our voice is heard on the key issues of the day.”