Earlier this autumn I met Samantha Maccuish of Lilium Homes Ltd in Glasgow. Samantha was elected by fellow members onto the FMB Scotland board earlier this year. As well as visiting two of their building projects, we discussed a range of issues including the building standards system, workloads, apprentices and managing client expectations. It was great to meet Sam and some of her team.
Another recent highlight for me was a high-profile networking event in central Glasgow. This was hosted by the trade association for the electrical contracting industry: SELECT. Delegates included senior Scottish government figures, along with other senior representatives from the UK’s leading construction organisations.
Monica Lennon Labour MSP for Central Scotland was the headline speaker. Ms Lennon, who is Convener of the Scottish Parliament’s Cross-Party Group on Construction, said that net zero would be one such challenge that the construction sector would have to embrace. One of my roles is as the Secretary of this Cross-Party group. We are next meeting on 25 October to hear a case study of a successful collaboration between a client and a contractor on reducing carbon from the construction process. I am expecting MSPs from all of the political parties to attend.
Warm words about the construction industry
In Glasgow, Monica called for greater collaboration and cooperation to help the construction sector overcome the many challenges that lay ahead. Monica said ‘Net zero offers huge challenges, but it is a journey we cannot avoid. We need to create an open dialogue between politicians, the construction industry and society as a whole to ensure we have the right skills to reach our objective.’
Ms Lennon – who worked for over a decade as a chartered town planner – also said that the construction bodies present should be proud of their many achievements and that they would play a key role in Scotland’s future.
‘The work the construction industry does, year in year out, in building communities for our constituents is hugely appreciated, but we do not say thank you enough.
‘Whether in creating new homes, driving innovation, providing opportunities for our young people to enjoy highly skilled, well-paid work, and stressing the importance of a safe working environment, it is the construction sector that lights a path for everyone.’
These positive words from a politician are encouraging and the FMB and our members have a key role in continuing to be leading ambassadors for the construction industry. Get in touch with me if you want to more about how the FMB influences policy makers in Scotland.