New B&ES president sets out his agenda
Jim Marner, the new president of the Building & Engineering Services Association, sees the key role of the association during his year in office as helping members face up to the challenges of the market place and turning them into business opportunities. Speaking at the annual general meeting, he set out the principal items on the agenda for the year ahead.
‘We must address the skills shortage which, at every level in the workforce, is threatening to limit the extent to which members can take advantage of the economic recovery.
‘We must continue to fight for the introduction of a fairer and more equitable payment culture that will allow businesses in the sector to operate profitably and to invest in skills, resources and technology.
‘We must try to establish a more accessible and transparent pre-qualification regime.
‘And we must ensure that building engineering services continues to hold its position in the vanguard of the “digital” revolution.’
Speaking about the construction industry as a whole, Jim Marner, who is business director with Shepherd Engineering Services, stressed that the association must promote ‘intelligent thinking’ at the outset of each project, along with an appreciation of what each party can contribute to its overall success.
That intelligent thinking includes encouraging professional teams to provide detailed designs at an earlier stage to minimise the problems that will inevitably emerge on site.
It also includes lobbying for smarter procurement, preferred supply-chain status and open-book 2-stage tendering to allow firms to establish their competence capability and financial stability before investing significantly in preparing detailed designs for a job they may very well fail to secure.
He concluded, ‘Above all, we must re-establish trust between clients and contractors, and emphasis what all parties must being to the achievement of a success construction contract.