Last week saw the first meeting of the construction industry’s newest cross-specialism group — The Future Innovation Group — at a hackathon aimed at identifying and creating solutions to the sector’s challenges with diverse recruitment, talent retention and digitisation.
Led by a steering group of placement students and backed by industry-leading names including Morgan Sindall, Pagabo, Pick Everard, Wates, ISG and Faithful+Gould, the Future Innovation Group seeks to create a springboard for change through thinking from the leaders of tomorrow.
The two-day hackathon event brought together more than 50 young professionals, which were split into small teams and challenged with working on new solutions to improving recruitment and retention, and how to make the industry more data driven. These solutions were then presented to all attendees to open conversation, enhance shared ideas and establish the best possible next steps to implement change across the sector.
The event was also attended by 13 business sponsors from senior leaders of some of construction’s most well-known names. These sponsors will now take the learnings from the event back to present to their businesses management teams, seeking to help implement the ideas from the brightest young minds of the sector.
Rebecca Rennie, Placement Engineer and Site Manager at Morgan Sindall, is one of the group’s founding panel members along with Jamie Davison and Abi Riddle, also of Morgan Sindall. She said: “The formation of The Future Innovation Group has been widely welcomed, and we were thrilled to have so many people wanting to get involved in the group and the hackathon.
“It’s been so fantastic to see this first event become a reality and bring so many of our peers together with a shared goal in creating the best future possible. Everyone who attended put their all into coming up with new ideas and innovations on how we can create change together and tackle some of the industry’s biggest challenges, and we look forward to continued collaboration across all our businesses to drive transformation.”
Several senior business sponsors also held talks across the two days, including The 55 Group’s Gerard Toplass and Morgan Sindall’s Andy Hall. These talks shared their experience, insights and the scale of challenges to help inspire attendees to share their ideas to challenge the status quo and work together to achieve betterment.
Speaking about the event, sponsor and Business Operations Director at leading independent property, construction, and infrastructure consultancy Pick Everard, Paul Darlow said: “We were so pleased to be involved in The Future Innovation Group and its first event, and very much look forward to continuing the important working relationships formed across the two days.
“Collaboration is central to making everything we do within construction a success, so bringing together the people who will be leading our industry very soon really is the best way to make sure that the sector adapts to modern pressures, challenges and working practices. As someone who has worked in the industry for several decades, it is brilliant to see these future leaders’ passion, drive and enthusiasm for improving the industry — and the world too.
“It was especially interesting to see collaboration between attendees familiar with onsite surroundings and those with office-based roles. These cultures are very different and breaking any barriers down to ensure that we work together as one industry is an important aim for the group moving forwards — and I’m excited to see what comes next.”
National framework provider Pagabo has put its weight behind the initiative, hosting the first event in its home city of Hull and helping to bring people together from across its expansive ecosystem.
Annie Lutkin, Trainee Procurement Manager at Pagabo, said: “It’s brilliant to be involved in The Future Innovation Group, both in terms of taking part in the hackathon and working for one of the businesses giving it strong backing — particularly for someone who is relatively early on in their career.
“It’s been a fantastically insightful couple of days and really inspiring to see all of the ideas and enthusiasm from my peers to help promote the industry as the amazing career option it is — and to make things better for everyone as we move into the future. I’m looking forward to working with the rest of the group members and the senior team at Pagabo to implement these ideas and create actionable change.”
If you would like to get involved with The Future Innovation Group, contact: Jamie Davison email: Jamie.email@example.com, Abigail Riddle email: Abigail.firstname.lastname@example.org, or Rebecca Rennie email: Rebecca.email@example.com.