Brightest young construction minds wanted for new think tank

Some of construction’s biggest names are backing the group which is looking to generate “new thinking from the leaders of tomorrow.”

Backers include Morgan Sindall, Pagabo, Pick Everard, Wates, ISG and Faithful+Gould and the group is led by a steering group of placement students but is open to young people in any construction-related business sector – from contractors to marketeers.

The group is aiming to identify reasons construction fails to attract young talent and will also look to harness the power of information, working towards making the sector more data driven.

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

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

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