2020 was either the most difficult or one of the most difficult years on record for almost everyone alive in the world. The Construction industry has suffered cancelled contracts, one of the worst rates of COVID contraction of all industries, delays in materials due to Brexit border chaos, and uncertain guidance regarding policy, relief, and best practice. The economy has contracted immeasurably at this point in time and cancelled / delayed contracts would induce the best of us into a state of permanent anxiety. 2021 is heralded as no other year, with much determination, tenacity and anticipation of normality. Happy New Year readers! We look forward to welcoming in the new year with you, a time of hope and celebration!
beable ® Wearable Pilot!
In December 2020 EMS deployed a pilot of the beable ® Wearable technology at a North London Project. The site has approximately 100 workers. The project is due to scale up in January with a further 100 workers due to be deployed. Andrew Lambert, EMS CEO, stated “We are delighted to start a trial of this exciting project.” Stuart Young of COMIT Project, said that “beable ®Wearable is a valuable tool to keep Construction sites operational during the COVID lockdown. Early indications suggest this is a valuable tool to keep Construction sites open, productive and safe.” beable ® Wearable helps Construction sites to work safely during COVID by tracking interactions between site workers.
Hertfordshire New Town Centre!
In preparation for an additional 175k possible new residents by 2031, Hertfordshire is planning a new town centre backed by Bowmer and Kirkland for £400m. The development will include 200, homes, 100 assisted living units, a 2,500-space car park and a major leisure development. North of the riverside development an additional 1,250 homes are planned on a 330-acre estate.
With 31 Hertfordshire residents being named in the latest New Year Honours, well above the national average including a well-deserved Knighthood for Formula 1 Racing Driver Lewis Hamilton, Hertfordshire must be doing something right!
After all the fuss, it hardly seems believable that the UK is leaving the UK with less a bang than a whimper, what with the apparent free trade deal including widespread market access with no tariffs or quotas (that the Builder’s Merchant Federation has welcomed), borders seemingly back to normal and any foreign workers who arrived before 11pm on 31 January allowed to stay under the EU Settlement Scheme (more info & Construction checklist here). Nevertheless, even though 2020 was ‘not a year on which we shall look back with undiluted pleasure’ and the countdown possibly the most anticipated moment in history ever, we think the Brexit terms could have been worse!
New Construction Playbook
Government has launched a new playbook which sets out 14 ‘key policies and guidance for how public works projects and programmes are assessed, procured and delivered’ (awarded). It outlines Government Guidance on sourcing and contracting public works projects and programmes including such topics as digital transformation with BIM & Digital Twins, ‘going green’ and highlights opportunities for increases in efficiency. You can download a copy of the playbook here.
Recovery after COVID
The Construction Skills Network published a comprehensive 5 year Construction Industry Outlook 2021-2025 which outlines 3 possible recovery scenarios of 10%, 11% and 14% unemployment across the entire country. It states that Construction output fell by 36% in 2020 compared to the wider economy at 20% GDP contraction. Its’ view on short-term effects could be limited recruitment of new entrants, drop in new apprenticeship starts for the 2020/21 academic year, employers trying to retain workers & a growth in infrastructure work which has been the area that suffered the least in 2020. Long-term predictions include recovery of new recruits and apprenticeships & an increase in demand for training. You can read the full outlook here.
Happy New Year! From all of us at EMS & beable ® 😊