Anna Wood
Posted on 22 Feb 2022

An Update on Constructing Excellence South West (CESW)

As in-person networking sees a return this spring, many of us will seek to reconnect with organisations we knew before, or look for new way to generate new work, and improve their existing work. 

For those of you not familiar, CESW is the single organisation charged with driving the change agenda in construction within the south west region, and it forms part of the Constructing Excellence Regional Partnership. In their own words: "We exist to improve industry performance in order to produce a better built environment.  We are a cross-sector, cross-supply chain, member-led organisation operating for the good of industry and its stakeholders."

I took over from Alan Tate when he stepped down from the role of CESW Company Secretary in 2021, and I know that Michelmores are delighted to have that role back within the firm. Michelmores Construction Team has also recently welcomed solicitor Katie Pickering, who, in addition to her legal work, is Club Secretary to Constructing Excellence Gloucestershire Club (CEGlos). 

CESW and CEGlos are busy over the coming months with their usual mixture of networking events, site visits and learning opportunities. The weekly free LeadersMeets webinars continue to be a popular source of knowledge. For the organisation's members, the Theme Groups have been re-launched for 2022 including new groups to focus on the Climate Crisis and Building Safety.  These groups present a vital opportunity for businesses at any point in the supply chain to engage with each other to ensure cost-effective best practice on every project. 

One of CESW's key priorities is addressing the industry's labour shortage crisis, with particular focus on a drive to recruiting the school leavers and graduates of Generation Z (born between 1997 and 2012). The organisation has recently published their Constructing the Future document. More than a report, it sets out a clear plan on improving young peoples' perception of the construction sector with the aim of encouraging them to consider a career in construction. 

Central to this campaign is Generation 4 Change, another of Constructing Excellence's initiatives that aims to give a voice to young people within the sector and empower then to be a positive influence on UK construction. Katie Pickering sits on the CESW G4C committee and works with other young professionals across the sector in the south west.  CESW members are encouraged to send new-to-industry colleagues to G4C events (virtual and physical) as a great way of supporting them, ultimately improving your own retention rates. 

Finally, a note on in person networking events and site visits: making a very welcome return in 2022. The Michelmores Construction Team will be attending events run by CESW, CEGlos and the newly formed CE Devon Club, and in due course we look forward to working with the CE Bristol Club Chair to support events in the city too. These events offer something for everyone: if you plan to attend do let us know so we can make sure we find you in the crowd to say hello in person.