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CEO Q&A: Adrian Ringrose, Interserve

What has been your highlight of 2014?

For Interserve Construction, the highlight of 2014 has to be the affirmation of respect from the industry and our peers through awards and accreditation.

Being named Contractor of the Year in the Construction News Awards, winning the British Quality Foundation’s Achievement Award for Sustainable Future and becoming the first company to achieve certification by BM TRADA to BS11000, the collaborative business relationships standard, all contributed to making this a year to remember.

In addition, we’ve been privileged enough to have worked on some pretty amazing projects, both large and small, including a major new facility for West Yorkshire Police, Sandhurst’s Royal Military Academy, ground-breaking health schemes like a Proton Beam Therapy Unit and fascinating education projects like the new Sandwell Central Sixth.

What has been the low point?

Despite recent economic pressures, we are determined to view the world in a ‘glass half full’ way, not a ‘glass half empty’ one.

Has the industry seen the back of the downturn?

I don’t believe that we are out of the downturn just yet. Yes, we can see increasing activity in several sectors, the industry is on the rise from its lowest point, but in my opinion there is a lot of recovery still to come.

One of the key issues to be tackled as we move steadily out of recession is that of skills shortages.

Here at Interserve we’re taking this seriously, and doing our best to attract the best people into the industry.

That’s why we’re supporting the UKCG’s Born To Build campaign, and trying to promote the different roles that are available in this industry.

What are your hopes for 2015?

The main two things I’m looking for in the coming year are stability and growth - stability in the wider economy and the creation of the right environment and opportunity to enable us to achieve our ambitions for growth.

In addition, I would like to see increased confidence in the construction industry, because this is a critical part of helping to persuade young people to join it.

If they can see a vibrant industry investing in the best technology - whether in terms of equipment, plant, products, communication and information technology or putting its people through on-going training programmes - then this will help to boost their confidence that a career in construction is a sensible option.

Adrian Ringrose is chief executive officer of Interserve

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