Domestically the gradual emergence from recession, coupled with the impact of continuing austerity measures, is placing increasing strain on project delivery – while further afield, economic volatility in Eastern Europe and Asia threatens to stifle crucial investment.
Like most businesses in the sector, developing our own talent has become more crucial than ever. Not only is there a deficit in the number of professionals in construction, the level of skill each professional needs is increasing as work becomes more varied and new technology more prevalent.
Construction’s changing nature means that learning and development strategies need to be more dynamic. It doesn’t always make sense for contractors to have an annual appraisal process in place – as this can lead to situations where the view of skills across the business is months out of date and incredibly unbalanced.
According to the Government’s most recent estimate, there are four million social and affordable rented properties owned by housing associations and other local authority bodies in England.
The new framework, which is part of RE:FIT, the public buildings energy efficiency retrofit programme , is jointly owned and managed by the Greater London Authority and Local Partnerships. Through the framework and three teams providing expert support, RE:FIT enables public sector organisations across England and Wales to reduce energy consumption and lower CO2 emissions in public sector buildings such as schools and hospitals.
With housing associations and Local Authorities under increasing pressure to build more homes and improve service provision in an era of reduced funding, the free-to-join Development Contractors Framework will allow public sector members to directly appoint a first ranked contractor – saving time and financial resources – or complete further competition for contracts.
The Great Ancoats Street scheme will comprise 119 one and two-bedroom apartments over 12 storeys, in addition to communal spaces including a roof-level terrace, a ground-floor gym for residents and a new landscaped public square.
The company’s specialist energy team was given the industry accolade for its work delivering large-scale commercial solar power projects over the past 12 months.
In particular, Forrest was highly commended for the installation of the UK’s first floating solar power array – and the second largest in Europe – on Godley reservoir in Greater Manchester for United Utilities.
“Given the ongoing skills shortage, developing our own talent is crucial and we wanted to find a more flexible way of doing this. The changing nature of the construction sector means that learning and development strategies in the industry need to be more dynamic.
“It’s easy to see why many in the sector haven’t held out much hope for the future of domestic solar installation. In addition to the reduction of the Feed-in Tariff (FIT) subsidies earlier this year, criticsm of the Green Deal was recently compounded in a roasting by the National Audit Office. Over the past year it’s become clear that public sector investment is drying up.
The contractor was acknowledged at the Considerate Constructors Scheme (CCS) National Site Awards 2016 for the high standard of its work delivered across sites for North West-based social housing provider and ForViva group member, City West Housing Trust.