I am proud to have become CN’s permanent editor.
When I joined as a reporter in 2011, I understood next to nothing about the built environment. My first weeks were a blur of news meetings packed with multiple acronyms and meeting people speaking a language I didn’t understand.
I intended to stay a year, maybe more, and move on once I’d settled in London. But this industry has a way of getting under your skin and I’m still here, fascinated by construction, six years later.
This is a great industry to be part of as a journalist and the rate of change required to make it more productive and diverse, while better respected and understood, will be incredibly exciting.
But there is still a lack of understanding about ‘construction’ among the general public and politicians.
I have argued before that Grenfell can be a turning point. That tragedy showed the worst of the way this industry operates and the conditions it is often forced to operate in. From costs being slashed, to residents seemingly being ignored, Grenfell must empower construction companies to both consider the impact of their work on society first, and also to try and stifle the ‘cheapest bid wins’ mentality.
At CN, we have an opportunity to challenge and improve this industry every day. This year we launched our mental health campaign, Mind Matters, to raise awareness on an issue that wasn’t being talked about.
Our CN100 report is a bible for the financial health of the industry and has once again led the news agenda in recent weeks. Our awards and CN Summit demonstrate the best of the industry and the short-term pipelines and challenges it faces.
We are already championing diversity (with big plans for 2018 in this area), the need for ethical procurement practices among clients and contractors and asking the government to recognise the importance of this industry in a way it hasn’t for many years.
This industry stands on the cusp of huge changes and it needs a powerful voice to speak on its behalf. I want CN to continue to be that voice and our brilliant team will endeavour to help you do business better.
You can follow Tom on Twitter @cntomfitz, contact him by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone on 020 3953 2748.