Construction Scotland's Inaugural Conference set for October

A free inaugural conference is to be held in Glasgow by Construction Scotland this October. The conference will be taking place on Tuesday the 7th of that month at Glasgow’s Grand Central Hotel, and will be attended by a number of prominent figures. Those who wish to register and attend will be able to do so for free on the Scottish Enterprise website.
The conference’s keynote speaker will be Ray O’Rourke, chairman of international engineering firm Laing O’Rourke. Attendees of the conference will include Nicola Sturgeon (Deputy First Minister), Angela Constance (Youth Employment Minister), and Derek Mackay (Planning Minister). These ministers will not only be in attendance but also taking part in a summit to discuss issues relating to the construction industry.
Construction Scotland, a self-described “leadership organisation for the construction industry,” works with all kinds of organisation that are involved in construction in Scotland. This includes not only businesses and public sector bodies but also universities and colleges whose students may go on to launch careers in this industry. The organisation receives support from Scottish Enterprise, the Scottish Funding Council, and Highlands and Islands Enterprise along with eleven partnered universities.
Construction Scotland will also use the event as an official launch platform for its £9.5 million Construction Scotland Innovation Centre project. This project aims to bring together both academics and those within the construction industry, and to launch discussions about the Scottish construction industry’s sustainability in the long term. This will be one of eight innovation centres, which are being established in order to drive innovation in important areas of the Scottish economy,
The organisation is chaired by Ed Monaghan, who is also chief executive of residential construction firm Mactaggart & Mickel. Monaghan described the upcoming inaugural conference as “a vital date in those in construction – from small businesses to the large contractors.” He described recent years as “a challenging time for everyone involved in construction, “but said that things are improving and the sector now has an opportunity to “move forward with confidence and effectively shape our own future.”
Monaghan went on to praise the current state of the construction industry in Scotland, with some reservations. On the positive side, he said that “Innovation is alive and well in Scotland and projects such as the delivery of the Athletes’ Village, the M74 extension and the replacement Forth crossing are clear evidence of that.”
However, he said that this innovative approach was “not the norm” and that this is something which must be changed. He said that it is necessary to “encourage everyone within the sector to embrace the opportunities available and ensure that we capitalise on this unique industry and academic partnership” in order to drive Scotland’s construction industry forward. The conference and the innovation centre project, he said, “will provide an ideal platform for us to do that.”
Matthew Scott