A BRAND-NEW cross-specialism group has been formed to bring together the brightest young minds across the construction industry. Looking to harness the power of collective innovation, the Future Innovation Group aims to tackle construction’s biggest issues and create a springboard for change, with new thinking from the leaders of tomorrow.
Led by a steering group of placement students, the initiative is open to young people in any construction-related business sector – from contractors to marketeers – and is backed by industry-leading companies including Morgan Sindall and Pagabo, Pick Everard, Wates, ISG and Faithful+Gould.
Statistics show that the construction industry struggles to attract and retain people at early-stage career level, so the group is aiming to identify the reasons for this and rectify these points 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.
To signal the group’s focus on innovation and operating in a data-first manner to attract young talent, the group’s first major event will be an industry-wide hackathon, featuring work sessions and talks from industry leaders.
Rebecca Rennie, placement engineer and site manager at Morgan Sindall, is on the group’s leadership panel along with Jamie Davison and Abi Riddle, also of Morgan Sindall. She said: “Our main goal in launching the Future Innovation Group is to bring likeminded 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.”
National framework provider Pagabo has put its weight behind the initiative, helping to bring people together from across its expansive ecosystem.
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.”
The FIG’s first hackathon will take place across two days (28-29 July) at the Hilton Hotel in Hull, bringing 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 this autumn.