Today, UK Construction Week Birmingham will officially be opened by Channel 4 presenter George Clarke and is expecting around 25,000 attendees throughout the show (4 - 6 October).
Packed with a full programme of events and guest speakers including Andy Street, Mayor of the West Midlands, the largest construction event in the UK will shine a spotlight on over 6,000 products from more than 300 exciting exhibitors in the industry.
Bricks and More Than - by Casey Bailey
From the top of the Rotunda, there's so much that we can see,
The views of past present and future, 360 degrees,
You can see the impact of construction, of planning and design,
Where a vision, and some action start to merge an intertwine,
So what’s the vision, right now, where do we begin,
For the industry that literally shapes the world that we’re in,
What is the challenge of tomorrow, opportunity of today,
How can the lessons of our past help to guide us on the way
There's a skills gap to address, and perceptions to be fixed,
So many still think that construction is just cement and laying bricks,
For every person in a hard hat, high vis and steel capped boots,
There’s some one sorting logistics, to guide along the route,
There are people holding pencils there are people holding spades,
It’s a journey from an idea to something being made.
The journey really starts before that, with the spark in a young mind,
That decides that construction is how they want to spend their time,
It starts with answering their questions, providing information,
So the idea of their career is built on sturdy foundations,
Do they understand the routes, all the paths that they could choose,
Into the building of their world where they will build the future too,
Are they inspired, can they see the place that they fit in,
Are events like UK Construction Week where that can begin?
So here we are in Brum, the home of the industrial revolution,
Look at an industry that’s wrapped in constant evolution,
Everyday another leap, a different route a new solution,
The story with the never ending middle, never reaching a conclusion
This is where we made things, this is where we make,
This is where we build things, that’s what made us great,
We know the sky's the limit, so we aim to sky scrape,
In this city that evolves, grows and re-shapes.
Every plan will have its place, every bolt will serve its function,
Every quality assurance check prevents a new malfunction,
For every motorway of nightmares, we’ll design a spaghetti junction,
When life gives you obstruction, there are solutions in construction.
Casey’s poem which alludes to the current skills shortage in the construction industry is announced following a recent survey which polled over 1,100 people across the sector, by UK Construction Week Birmingham.
The new survey revealed that over a quarter (26%) of respondents felt the solution to fixing the skills gap was 'better career advice at school/college to paint a more attractive picture of construction to young people'.