Construction IOM AGM

The Annual General Meeting of Construction Isle of Man Limited took place on Thursday 7th March 2024

The Annual General Meeting of Construction Isle of Man Limited took place on Thursday 7th March 2024. Chairperson Gary Proctor addressed the attendees, delivering a report on the progress made by CIOM throughout 2023.

Firstly, may I express my thanks to all who are involved in the work of CIOM; the board, officers and staff, with whom it is a pleasure to work and an honour to chair, the industrious working-groups from across industry, DfE, BIOM and importantly to the membership for their continued support.  Together we are working hard to improve many aspects of the construction industry on the island.

2023 has been a busy year for the industry and for Construction Isle of Man.

In the following address I would like to share with you our view of the state of the industry, where we see it going, our place within it and the work that we are undertaking as the industry’s representative body.

The construction sector continues to play a significant role in the islands economy, contributing 6.1% of the Islands income and employing some 9.5% of the population; of equal importance to its direct contribution, is its pivotal role in assisting the island to deliver against its strategic goals, including economic growth and the net-zero targets outlined in the Climate Change Plan and Our Island Plan.  It is our industry that designs, constructs, and maintains the critical infrastructure and the buildings that house businesses, employees and the families contributing to the economic and social success of the island.  Without a functioning construction industry, the island would undoubtedly stutter.

The industry continues to face many challenges and a recent industry survey undertaken by CIOM in Dec 2023, put some statistics against the anecdotal evidence, demonstrating that the availability of skilled labour, management and consultant services, costs of materials and shipping, the costs and restrictions of waste-management all continue to hinder the industry and contribute to volatility within the sector.  This survey will be published and distributed to Government stakeholders and CIOM members within the next few days.

Workload and forward-view further continue to concern the industry and anecdotal evidence suggests a slowdown in some parts of the industry, again we are seeking to put some hard data against this and CIOM currently has a further survey out to help clarify the position.

Private sector development, and in this I include Manx Development Corporation, is still currently buoyant and positive, in a domestic market that continues to hold its own and more recently in the high-profile projects that are either on site or anticipated to commence within the next few years, many of which however are reliant on a planning system that continues to frustrate.  So, whilst there is huge potential for the industry, it is unclear exactly what that looks like and without a consistent pipeline of work it is difficult for the industry to maintain steady growth.

It is however imperative that the industry can deliver against what potentially could be significant requirement for many years to come, particularly if the large-scale commercial and residential projects make their way through the planning system.

The impact of Government investment and capital projects is significant in managing the Islands peaks and troughs, and is essential to maintain the industry whilst the private sector fluctuates, often as a consequence of planning delays.  Visibility of and a reliable stream of Government capital and maintenance projects is therefore essential if the industry is to have the confidence to invest in staff and equipment necessary to build a resilient resource to meet the islands construction needs and thereby supporting the wider economy.

CIOM is here to represent, guide and equip the industry, and to work with Government to meet these challenges.  At a strategic level we ensure its voice is heard, bringing industry knowledge and experience forward to inform national policy and delivery. We continue to work in partnership with stakeholders from across the industry to improve standards and build a resilient industry.

Membership continues to grow steadily and in-line with our KPIs, our members include most of the medium-large contractors and with the core of our membership remaining the smaller contractors, which is representative of the make-up of the industry. We will continue to increase our membership and improve our offering.  The islands largest Developers have joined us and we will seek to broaden the membership further with greater participation from the island’s Consultants.

Participation in the CIOM certification scheme, that demonstrates a level of health and safety awareness and technical qualification, continues to grow again in-line with our KPIs and we will continue to promote this.

The appointment of a new Chief Officer in Debbie Reeve, who brings with her many years of senior management experience in the Public Sector both on and off the island, has proven to be a very positive move as she continues to drive the organisation’s agenda within CIOM, the industry and across Government departments. She joins Adele Owen, who is the conscientious and hardworking administrative back bone of CIOM – and together they make a formidable team.

The Executive Board comprises representatives from Contractors, large and small, Consultants are represented by Architects, Engineers, Cost-consultants, Project managers, Financial and Health and Safety advisors with Public Sector representation from DfE, BIOM and UCM.

This board alongside Debbie and Adele have worked tirelessly over the course of the last year.

Our board members have set-up and are driving working-groups that include representatives from across the industry and Government departments to push the industry’s agenda on a wide range of subjects affecting the industry.

In Planning, we have supported the department in their successful bid to secure funding for an updated planning portal that will improve efficiency and communication, and we are hoping to see this come on line this year.

We will continue to work with DEFA on issues within the planning department, we have drafted a paper with statistical analysis of planning, its challenges and the tangible effect on development and the islands economy; we have further drafted recommendations for a review of and improvements to the planning appeals process.

We have put formal representations to the ‘Strategic Plan Review’ and the ‘amendments to the Development Procedure Order’ that forms part of the Built Environment Reform Programme.

We continue to liaise with the Planning Policy Team of the Cabinet Office on the drafting their climate change policies that form part of a Draft Strategic Plan and we have issued a paper outlining the challenges and our comment on developing a clear strategy to deal with Biodiversity Net Gain.

We have made formal representation regarding the timing, lack of effective consultation and implementation of policies and directives affecting all businesses, such as the change to tradesman’s parking permits.

With the cost of waste management increasing, whether it be for disposal or recycling, we are participating in a review of DOI’s Waste Strategy alongside DOI, DEFA and DfE; we are working alongside the acting head of waste management at DOI on a review of processes and potential improvements and cost-efficiencies relating to the Energy from Waste plant, the cost of Off-island Recycling and dealing with problem materials such as Coal-Tar, double-glazed units and Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment.

We have worked with private sector providers to facilitate on-island Streetworks training to assist contractors upskill their labour and satisfy the most recent DOI directive, in doing so saving the industry the considerable cost and administrative burden associated with off-island training.  This will become live within the next few weeks.

We are also working with private sector providers and UCM to facilitate on-island Renewable Technology training, which is not currently available on the island and is a necessity if the industry is to have the skills to deliver on the Governments fossil-fuel boiler ban that was implemented in support of their net-zero emissions targets.

We have lobbied hard on the successful campaign to reintroduce gas-safe training at UCM.

We are in the process of developing the CIOM Site Safety Scheme, that at the request of DOI offers an island-appropriate alternative to Considerate Constructors and in doing so, for the first time assembled a working-group that includes the islands health and safety professionals, HSWI and contractors.

There is still much to do, but through hard work and dedication, we are driving the agenda and we have assembled and are bringing with us the key industry and Government stakeholders.  We have a respected voice within Government and we will continue to challenge and participate for the benefit of the industry and the island.

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