Kent Construction Expo took place on 5 October and was attended by hundreds of delegates from organisations, stakeholders and suppliers all involved with the built environment. In this article, the FMB’s Southern Hub Director, Iain Kirtley, offers his reflections on the day and the potential opportunities for FMB members.
Networking and collaboration
One of the key objectives I had for attending Kent Construction Expo was to network and further raise awareness of our Master Builders and the high standards you have with regional stakeholders. I had the opportunity to speak with local authorities, material suppliers, training providers and other organisations and individuals, all of whom are looking to help the construction industry across Kent and the south-east thrive.
Opportunities for FMB members
Echoing one of the FMB’s new National President, Chris Carr’s priorities around helping FMB members win public sector contracts I attended a workshop titled ‘How to work for the public sector’ and heard from a number of speakers who had firsthand experience of the tender process. On the back of this I am speaking with the South East Consortium, a large regional framework focused on the housing sector, to learn more and discover how interested FMB members can access opportunities. I also heard from WW Martin, a Kent based contractor, who also are keen to add organisations to its supply chain and you can find out more here.
Supporting the local skills priorities
I was also able to speak with a number of training providers and stakeholders including those involved with the Kent & Medway Local Skills Improvement Plan. This plan brings together key organisations from across the region to work collaboratively to address the skills needs and shortages and I am looking forward to seeing how I can represent the FMB and our members. I am also speaking with a number of the colleges in the area, including MidKent College, to discuss the issue of accessing quality new entrants into the construction industry for the benefit of FMB members.
Over the coming weeks I’ll be following up and speaking with a number of other contacts made on the day, all with the aim of raising awareness of the FMB and our Master Builders. I’m also exploring the potential to host a webinar for FMB members to learn more about public sector procurement so do let me know if you’d be interested in it. Keep an eye out for further updates via the newsletters and Builders’ Blogs.
If there are events, conferences or exhibitions the region which you think may be of benefit to me attending, please do send details. And, as always, if there’s something else I can help with, you’ve a success you’d like to share or would like to catch up, please do get in touch using the details below.
Contact Iain Kirtley, FMB South Director on 07741 240665 or send us an email.