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ICES Commercial Management Conference Roundup

On the 7th June, Steve Thomas, Stuart Hackett and I attended the 2017 Commercial Management conference of the Institute of Civil Engineering Surveyors (ICES), where key issues discussed included the UK skills shortage, major projects, the rail industry in the UK, and the new NEC4 construction contract. It was an excellent event, and Maxim Recruitment had the privilege of being one of the event sponsors.

As Quantity Surveying recruitment specialists, it was reassuring to hear so much faith in UK construction talked about by speakers from some of the major construction companies. The skills shortage issue was one of the first to be talked about, by Mark Wheeler, Chief Operating Officer at Driver Group. The information given fell in line with Maxim’s own view of the UK construction market, where there seems to be a shortage of good Quantity Surveyors in key areas. With major projects such as HS2 looming that will need thousands of staff, this is potentially set to be a continuing issue for the coming years, and one which Maxim alone can’t solve (however much we’d like to!)

Other talks came from Stephen Blakey of Network Rail, and Shy Jackson from Pinsent Masons with a legal update, before the first coffee break of the day. Following the coffee break, David Staton from Babcock spoke about the beauty of Alliancing in construction and the positives which can arise from it, as well as some of the issues that can potentially arise from this type of set up. This was closely followed by Paul Kidson at Costain who spoke of the importance of project controls on major projects and the impact that can be had on delays and costs if they are not utilised correctly. Alan Muse from the RICS gave a speech regarding the international construction method of measurement, before a panel featuring Ian Heaphy from Pinsent Masons was arranged to discuss the new NEC4 contract and the main amendments that have been made to the NEC3.

All in all, it was a fantastic day that Maxim was proud to be a part of. The skills shortage in UK construction is an issue which we can fully understand and one which is set to be an ongoing issue if and when some of the major projects kick off that the UK construction industry is talking about. Maxim will be looking to attend similar events in 2017 to discuss construction issues and to offer a helping hand to those in need of staff. We recruit UK wide for blue chip companies as well as those which are smaller in nature and not necessarily on some people’s radar. With a flexible approach to recruitment and knowledgeable staff, we are able to offer a service that suits our client’s specific need wherever and whoever they may be.

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Adam Cadwaladr
Recruitment Consultant

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