Let's not waste such a good crisis - how the industry needs to harness Brexit

26 August 2016

Image: Dreamstime

So are we heading for an industry recession or aren’t we? The prospect of Brexit and the uncertainty it is creating makes returning after the summer break a little more unsettling than normal. And there’s the big unknowns of when we finally do leave the EU, what it will mean in terms of overseas workers, procurement and investment?

Construction Manager is running a series of articles, which you’ll find across our site, to help make sense of the post-referendum landscape. We’ve asked a cross section of our readers how it’s affecting their businesses. Lawyer Kuldip Dhanoya discusses Brexit and public procurement while Chris Hallam urges government to spend on infrastructure now.

In this cauldron of uncertainties, there is also another narrative emerging, namely a determination to make the best of the unwanted hand the industry now holds. Wouldn’t it be great to use the opportunity we now have foisted on us to finally train a skilled workforce, to increase productivity and cut out waste – so says architect John McCrae.

One only has to look at the spellbinding performance of our Olympians to see what a transformation can be forged with focus and determination. As BIM Bytes author Assad Maqbool reminds us – it was Andrew Wolstenholme’s visionary 2009 report that said we should “Never Waste a Good Crisis”. The same mantra can be applied now.

Gathering evidence of where Brexit is likely to hit the industry hardest and arming government with the right information to ensure we negotiate the best deal for the sector is an excellent place to start. But as Sir John Armitt, who has set up a Brexit Leadership Taskforce to do precisely that, says, the industry needs a single vision to present to government to get the best outcome. We’ve heard it before, but never has it been so crucial.

Denise Chevin - editor

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