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The Greater Manchester Chamber of Commerce Construction Summit 2019

On Thursday 11th July, Open ECX attended the Construction Summit 2019 organised by Greater Manchester Chamber of Commerce. Hosted by Andy Crane, TV and radio presenter, the event’s agenda covered crucial topics within the industry along with the pipeline for construction in and around Greater Manchester. Amongst the topics were modern slavery, skill shortages and sustainability focusing on Manchester’s carbon footprint.

Modern slavery was heavily discussed, deliberating how far down the supply chain construction businesses actively look at their suppliers and customers to see if is indeed being implemented. It is important that procedures are implemented on each construction site and be able to identify warning signs of modern slavery. It is becoming more popular for each company to have their own modern slavery training however it appears it isn’t as crucial as other training topics. The question was raised: should each company be adopting the modern slavery act in the same way health and safety is adopted?

The topic of skill shortages were raised posing the question: what can the industry do to ensure that skilled workers are coming through the industry from the future generations? A keyway is to engage and encourage schools and colleges to educate the younger generations about the job options that are available and what their career in construction may look like. And with STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) becoming more of a focus in education, it is important that any negative stigmas surround the construction industry are addressed and changed.

Another hot topic was focusing on the Carbon Footprint. Manchester Climate Change are producing a frame work to have zero carbon by 2038. Believed to be the first UK local authority to make sure a commitment, Manchester have set themselves an ambitious target but are certain they can achieve this by implementing important steps including investing in new infrastructure and changing the cities culture, so the population actively look for everyday carbon reducing solutions.

The Greater Manchester pipeline was refreshing to see, with a £8.67 billion pipeline for 2019/22. The number one Construction subsector within the UK is repair and maintenance, but in Manchester this is not the case. Slightly ahead is subsector Housing and Infrastructure, with 6000 housing units confirmed to be produced across 2019/20, and another additional 19,000 units in the pipeline to be confirmed. What is more, Greater Manchester currently accounts for 40% of the North West’s housing output.

The Construction Summit was well worth attending, not only to learn about the industry’s key topics and how each company can make a difference, but to meet likeminded people and learn about businesses and how we can connect and collaborate as a community. It is an exciting time for the Manchester construction industry, and we are already looking forward to the next summit in 2020.

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