Managers in construction sector are under-recognised by UK economy, says BAM

14 October 2010 20:09 - BAM Construct UK Ltd

Hemel Hempstead, 14 October 2010 - The leading construction company under the Construction Manager of the Year Awards says that construction managers and professionals are under-valued by the UK. Professional management skills in the construction sector are under-recognised, says the firm which had the best management record in sector's annual awards (see table in notes), taking place on Thursday 14 October.

BAM Construct UK's Chief Executive, Graham Cash, says: 'Traditionally the business world seems to expect managers to wear a suit and tie and sit behind a desk in an office. In our sector, they wear hard hats and reinforced boots and work in temporary accommodation. That image has deceived many into under-valuing the skills that our professionals possess.'

'A construction manager not only has to manage a multi-million pound budget, often on tight margins, but he or she - and we do have women managers - also has to manage a very complex technical challenge and one subject to significant regulation.'

'When it comes to managing people, construction professionals have literally hundreds and sometimes thousands of people to manage from specialists to labourers, whether employees, sub-contractors, or apprentices.'

'Many people talk in business about managing risk. Our people live with it in every sense. There is a high degree of susceptibility to risk from what they find in the ground but also from the elements threatening the budget and the timetable - and they live daily in a potentially hazardous environment.'

'Even after that, a construction manager has to be a diplomat to the client, a dictator when necessary, and a planner and problem solver throughout. And the community is on their doorstep.'

'The scale of these professional demands would defeat many other managers in the UK economy. It is time we recognised the skills that construction professionals need and possess. They are highly valuable contributors to our economy and communities.'

Mr Cash was speaking ahead of the Chartered Industry of Building's (CIOB's) annual Construction Manager of the Year Awards (CMYA) in which BAM managers have proven themselves the country's most successful, winning between them nine silver or gold awards over the past four years (see table).

BAM's success is even more noteworthy because many of its rivals build a significant number of small projects while BAM's managers are usually in charge of projects of £20 million upwards. BAM projects with managers shortlisted among this year's awards include the Ashmolean Museum, South Thames College, Newcastle under Lyme College, Park Lane College Bradford, and the Rose Bowl in Leeds.
Mr Cash concluded: 'The effort and care that goes into assessing these awards is known to be phenomenal. The CIOB's approach is widely respected and these awards truly deserve their status as the industry's 'Oscars'. Very few people will emerge with an award on the night, but I wish every construction professional shortlisted the best of luck, they exceptionally did well to make it that far.'

The awards are presented on Thursday 14 October at a ceremony in The Grosvenor Hotel, Park Lane, London. Denise Van Outen presents.