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Top 5 opinion in 2018: Brexit, BIM warriors and diversity

Each week, CN commissions opinions from people working across the sector in a variety of disciplines. Here are the five most-read comment pieces of 2018.

Neil Martin managing director construction Lendlease EMEA

Neil Martin managing director construction Lendlease EMEA

1) Older workers: Why construction cannot afford to lose them

As the skills shortage seemingly gets worse, the construction industry is faced with the two-pronged threat of a failure to recruit young people coupled with an ageing demographic.

Over the next decade a fifth of the UK’s construction workforce is set to retire. Here, managing director for Lendlease’s construction business in Europe, Neil Martin, took a closer look at the potential impact.

Noble Francis economics director Construction Products Association

Noble Francis economics director Construction Products Association

2) Brexit’s effect on construction: What we know so far

It’s been difficult to report on the impact of Brexit in 2018, with so little being known about the final deal that will emerge before Britain leaves the EU. Even now, with fewer than 100 days to go until the day, the construction industry waits to find out what the impact will be.

In March, Construction Products Association economics director Noble Francis analysed the issues that would affect businesses in the construction sector.

Leo Quinn chief executive Balfour Beatty new USE THIS

Leo Quinn chief executive Balfour Beatty new USE THIS

3) How to break the deadlock on diversity

Balfour Beatty boss Leo Quinn founded The 5% Club in 2013 to address youth unemployment and skills shortages. The construction industry continues to face problems both appealing to and recruiting from people of different genders and ethnicities.

In a column for CN, Mr Quinn set out research from The 5% Club, of which Balfour Beatty is a member, which showed steps businesses should take to break the deadlock.

Ann Bentley global board director Rider Levett Bucknall

Ann Bentley global board director Rider Levett Bucknall

4) Tier ones: Will the next decade belong to subcontractors?

At the Construction News Summit, a topic that delegates and panellists kept coming back to was the future of the tier one contractor, which is reflected in the popularity of this piece among subscribers.

Rider Levett Bucknall global director and Construction Leadership Council member Ann Bentley argued they had a significant role to play as enablers, suggesting that “success will come to those companies capable of defining value, predicting outcomes and taking accountability”.

Paul Newby engineering services director SES engineering services

Paul Newby engineering services director SES engineering services

5) BIM warriors: Are they ready to digitise construction?

The rise of BIM in the past decade, combined with the continuing preference for digital and modern methods of construction, continues to change and modernise the way the industry works.

SES engineering services director Paul Newby set out what ’BIM warriors’ have been doing to enable digital construction – and why improvements can’t just rest at the feet of the millennial generation.

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