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5 topics Construction News will be focusing on in 2017

This week we’re looking forward to 2017. With a new year comes a renewed focus and here are five areas I want CN’s coverage to reflect in 2017.

Skills

It has been reassuring to hear business secretary Sajid Javid cite construction as an industry that must be protected in Brexit negotiations when it comes to employing migrant workers.

But it’s also important this doesn’t prevent the change required in the industry.

Imagine if EU migrant workers couldn’t get into UK construction? It would be a huge problem.

But it might also change the industry’s mindset on how it appeals to potential UK entrants.

Ensuring EU workers can continue to work here is vital, but a domestic focus needs to be retained to change peoples’ attitudes about UK construction as a career choice.

Health

The tragedy at Didcot in February was heartbreaking for the families and colleagues of the deceased, not to mention the local community and rescue workers.

“Suicide is believed to claim 10 times as many lives as falls from height every year. It’s time to talk about mental health”

There were more fatalities this year than last and that must not become a trend.

But 2017 will see the ‘H’ in H&S come to the fore.

CN will support and promote initiatives that recognise wellbeing. There are three million people in this industry and suicide is believed to claim 10 times as many lives as falls from height every year.

It’s time to talk about mental health.

Innovation

This industry is on the cusp of something great.

In fact, great things are being done up and down the country, and more and more businesses are employing new ways to create smarter buildings and infrastructure, faster and safer.

We will be focusing on how businesses can use innovation and technology to make better margins and a more sustainable future.

Projects

The people in this industry are at their best when they’re talking about their work, which is why we write about the astonishing things being done on sites across the country every week in our project reports.

We will continue to feature projects that raise the bar for the industry while providing in-depth analysis of those that go wrong and how lessons were learned.

Supply Chain

A trend to watch in 2017 will be the relationship between client and specialist contractor. More and more clients are reaching out to the traditional ‘tier two’ to provide expertise.

We’ve seen it with Transport for London and commercial clients and we’re seeing contractors like Willmott Dixon recognising that being a jack of all trades isn’t the right response.

CN will profile the disruptive businesses that are making waves in their specialist sectors.

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