Andy Sneyd newsUK: The industry must not only embrace change, it must lead it, says newly-elected B&ES president Andy Sneyd.

In his inaugural address at the B&ES’ agm, the new president stressed that the industry must not be mistaken into believing that the industry will remain much the same as in past decades.

“We can no longer depend on the old certainties or on established working practices,” he said

“The truth is that change is here to stay – and if we are to survive and prosper, as a sector and as individual businesses, we must not only embrace that change, we must actively lead it.”

“Throughout its 110-year history, our Association has stood for quality, for reliability, for responsibility and for professionalism,” he said.

Stressing the role that the B&ES has played in producing so many standard-setting specifications and good practice guides and being unique in being the only construction industry body that requires its members to undergo third-party competence assessment, he insisted that the B&ES was more than just a trade association.

“Today, we have an increasingly crucial role to play in supporting, educating and encouraging our members as they face the challenges posed by new technologies, the ever-growing demand for energy efficiency, and the quest for smarter working practices – perhaps best exemplified by the BIM revolution, in which the contracting sector has a pivotal role to play.”

Mr Sneyd went on to explain that, in his “day job” as head of design for Crown House Technologies – which operates as an integral part of the Laing O’Rourke group – he had learned that progress was seldom, if ever, the result of a single party to the construction process “going it alone”.

“True progress derives from co-operation, from collaboration and from partnerships formed by those who share a real commitment to continuous improvement, and a genuine desire to work better, smarter and more productively – to the benefit of all concerned.”

Engagement in a “reputable, representative and well-resourced association” – like B&ES – enabled such collaboration, amongst organisations, amongst companies and amongst individuals who shared a common vision, common aspirations and a common goal.

Speaking as “the first officer of the Association to have served exclusively in the B&ES era”, he acknowledged that many of today’s key issues – such as fair payment, early involvement in the construction process, skills shortages and raising awareness of the added value specialist contractors can deliver to their clients – were by no means new.

“But having been around for so long doesn’t make them any less serious, or finding solutions to them any less urgent – and they will remain high on the agenda during my term of office,” Mr Sneyd concluded.