In our 21st Anniversary year we have celebrated our busiest ever 12 month period. During this time our sector has continued to grow, with recent Construction Products Association figures forecasting a rate of 5.5% for 2015 and 4% in 2016. Our own CAB State of the Market Survey for Q2, 2015 shows 86% of respondents, on balance, are anticipating sales will rise over the next year and virtually every CAB member respondent is anticipating greater capital expenditure across a range of metrics year on year.
The CAB Board is constantly challenging the staff Team to add value for membership and appeal to the widest possible audience within the Association. Our industry leadership remains imperative and is highlighted by an expanding annual Technical Conference and a leading contractual awareness programme. Whilst we have a significant role to play in representing members in Europe, we also have to increase our profile in the UK and highlight the benefits of our 21st Century material to current and future Specifiers and users. We were delighted to join with FAECF to organise a jointly branded programme entitled ‘Facades Evolution’ at the inaugural Vision exhibition at Olympia in June.
We have been particularly encouraged by the influx this year of a wide range of new members, from start-ups to major International brands from across the aluminium in building supply chain. Many have been attracted by our extensive and well supported events programme that has again seen leading architects and specifiers present at an interesting variety of venues in Birmingham, Bristol, Huddersfield, Hull, Liverpool and Loughborough. In addition we created a 115m2 CAB Pavilion Stand at Ecobuild 2015 in partnership with organisers UBM, which was supported by 5 member company stands. Our programme which includes an annual Technical Conference and new Marketing mini-conferences aims to provide outstanding learning opportunities, which over the last 18 months we have recorded on vox pop videos uploaded to our YouTube channel.
Our 21st Anniversary should be a time to reflect but also one to look into the future and the need to educate the next generation of customers about our material and sector. To this end, we have become involved in the Your Green Future series of exhibitions and discussions across the South West and West Midlands attended by 1500+ young people aged 14 -19 years old and where we exhibited alongside the likes of Skanska and Mott McDonald. This has been an excellent opportunity to discuss aluminium’s sustainability credentials and its vital role in 21st Century construction. We have encouraged other young people in our sector by sponsoring the Tectonics Prizes for Students at the Department of Architecture & Built Environment, University of Nottingham.
Increasing Demand for Training
We are certainly aware of member companies increasing their staff numbers to meet rising demand. As an Association we see this leading to an increase in demand for training which will include areas such as Health & Safety and also Contractual Awareness. A number of specialist contractors have also recently reported skills shortages as being the worst for 14 years.
Our CAB Contractual Awareness Seminars (ongoing in 2015/6) have been well attended by fabricators across the UK. Presented by Geraldine Fleming, Executive Director, Knowles the seminars which are free to CAB Fabricators have been able to resolve a number of member queries and also suggest new and improved internal processes for companies to be better prepared in the future. Members have used the opportunity to bring the pre and post contract team together to highlight best practice and share concerns with an expert from a global leader in construction disputes.