Event | North East CIC Construction Summit 2017

Last week, (20th September) a few members of the Atlas Cloud team attended the CIC North East Construction Summit.

The summit covered a number of topics and issues in relation to the North East construction sector’s future.

The event focused on the Government’s Construction 2025 strategy, along with the recent review for 2016-2020.

The headline speakers for the day included:

  • Don Ward, CEO at Constructing Excellence
  • Richard Waterhouse, CEO for National Building Specification
  • Clive Johnson, Head of Health and Safety at Land Securities
  • Tim Whitehall, Managing Director for Project Five Consulting
  • Darush Dodds, Head of Corporate Responsibility and Added Value at Esh Group

The day kicked off with Eve Wilson and Jack Brayford showcasing the work Generation 4 Change have been up to and the organisations they are currently working with. They also covered how they believe they can aid the skills gap within the North East construction sector.

They included how early school engagement and talking more about the opportunities a role in the sector could bring to younger generations would be a crucial starting point.

To spread more awareness of the work the North East gets up to, projects that are completed should be spoken about more. The North East should be shouting about the work we get up to in order to compete and aid different areas in the UK.


Mark Farmer, the author of “Modernise or Die” discussed his progress update on Construction’s Transformation challenge one year on.

Again, there was a focus on how the skills gap could potentially be aided by training and retaining homegrown talent. Although we have a great pool of talent in the North East, it is more often than not lost to other cities across the UK due to the wider availability of opportunities.

Another good point that was mentioned was the changing delivery model to off-site construction and streamlining these processes to drive efficiencies and to do more with less.

He ended the speaking slot by mentioning the need to encourage wider institutional and policy reforms led by both government and industry.

My personal favourite speaking slot was NBS’ “The move to the cloud”. Stephen Hamil discussed how the sector is still stuck in their traditional ways of working with paper, sending files back and forth with no digitalised processes. And the requirement they now face to streamline their processes with real-time access to files and applications both on-site and off-site.

This transformation can only be made possible with cloud technology hosting all data, applications and files in one common data environment for all project workers to access.

He also emphasised how crucial it is to get it right from the start. The right technology is key to doing this with the real drivers of change being the discontent experienced from those who receive the end product, the skills crisis and the technology that is no longer efficient.

Overall, it was an enjoyable day filled with passionate people wanting to get the most out of the construction sector in the North East. We are looking forward to the report CIC are producing with the ideas that were put forward by those who attended.





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