New innovation group to harness ideas of construction's young minds

A new cross-specialism innovation group will bring together construction's brightest young minds to come up with ideas to tackle the sector's biggest issues.

The Future Innovation Group is backed by companies including Morgan Sindall, Wates, ISG, Pagabo, Pick Everard and Faithful + Gould.

A steering group of placement students will lead the group. It is open to young people in any construction-related sector, from contractors to marketeers.

One of the group’s main aims is to identify the reasons why the construction industry struggles to attract and retain people at early-stage career level. It will examine how to rectify this and to build a more attractive and diverse sector. It will also look to harness the power of information, working towards making the sector more data driven.

Its first major event will be an industry-wide ‘hackathon’ over two days (28-29 July) at the Hilton Hotel in Hull. It will bring together 50 attendees from across the industry. The event will feature business sponsors from senior leaders of some of construction’s biggest names, including the group’s Morgan Sindall and Pagabo backers.

The group’s leadership will pass on to the next generation of young people in September as the 2022 cohort return to university.

Rebecca Rennie, placement engineer and site manager at Morgan Sindall, is on the group’s leadership panel. She is joined by Jamie Davison and Abi Riddle, also of Morgan Sindall. Rennie said: “Our main goal in launching the Future Innovation Group is to bring like-minded young people from any area within the construction industry together, to discuss how we can make it a more attractive place for future generations.

“We hope the group will be a springboard for change, identifying why junior recruitment has become such a pervasive issue, and how we can rectify it to build a better industry for all stakeholders. We would like to express our gratitude to the industry for supporting us in our new venture and look forward to working with the construction leaders of today to inspire the leaders of tomorrow."

Gerard Toplass, CEO of The 55 Group, which is Pagabo’s parent organisation, said: “Only 25% of the 40,000 people starting qualifications complete the process and stay in the construction industry – showing a 75% drop off rate which suggests the courses are unappealing to young people. This is an alarming statistic and a great cause for concern regarding the future of our workforce as we need to adapt in order to suit the requirements of tomorrow – and thus far have been too slow to do so.

“The Future Innovation Group will bring much-needed diversity to the industry and I applaud the work of founders Rebecca, Jamie, Abi, and everyone involved in driving the change needed for a better future for those in entry-level positions.”

If you would like to get involved with the group, contact: Jamie Davidson, Abigail Riddle or Rebecca Rennie.

This article first appeared on Construction Manager

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