Meet a member: Kyle Spiller MCIOB
The director of SAM Drylining explains why he is studying law and campaigning on fair payment in construction.
How did you get into construction?
As a keen sports fan I was always fascinated by the stadiums I was lucky enough to visit around the UK, from the old to the new. My younger life was consumed by sports participation so I never gave much consideration to any career away from sports.
My interest for the construction industry was then sparked in my early teens when the Millennium Stadium was commissioned for construction in the heart of Cardiff city. Witnessing such an iconic stadium being constructed on my doorstep, which put Wales well and truly on the world map, was really inspiring.
Despite such prestigious projects being undertaken in Wales, construction was never really promoted by my school, so it was only my own research into the career opportunities in construction that led me to apply for a position on the Quantity Surveying degree course in the University of Glamorgan.
You’re studying for arbitration qualifications. What prompted that?
My initial interest in the legal side of construction begun during my quantity surveying studies. Working for a regional specialist subcontractor during my QS studies allowed me to get heavily involved with contracts, which in turn required me to quickly gain a good understanding of the key characteristics of the widely used standard forms of contracts. Being a QS results in many commercial disagreements which further developed my interest in dispute resolution processes.
“Delays with payments to the supply chain continues to hamper the growth and development opportunities for many SMEs.”
Kyle Spiller MCIOB
I have been a director of my organisation for over six years and identified the need to progress my legal knowledge due to the growth of the business. Such growth resulted in the company entering into complicated and high value contracts – often heavily amended to favour the client.
I’ve been studying part time towards a master’s in Construction Law, Arbitration and Adjudication with Robert Gordon University and the modules I have already passed have gained me membership with the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators (MCIArb). The arbitration and adjudication studies have been invaluable in terms of ensuring our projects are managed in a way that actually avoids disputes.
What do you love about your job and what are the frustrations with it?
The construction industry is very rewarding, meeting people from all walks of life and being involved with changing the environment in which we live is a great privilege.
Spending time mentoring staff members to aid with their professional development and giving people the opportunity to progress their careers is incredibly gratifying. However the industry remains rife with disputes and arguments regarding money. Delays with payments to the supply chain continues to hamper the growth and development opportunities for many SMEs and, despite changes to legislation to prevent poor payment practices, it continues to plague the industry.
As a member of the CIOB Cardiff Wales Hub I gave evidence to the Welsh Assembly government regarding the use of retention payments in the industry – which I believe requires statutory reform to protect the supply chain to prevent organisations holding onto the cash of the supply chain well past the end of defects liability period.
The construction industry is continuously changing for the better. Recent advances in technology have bridged the gap between site and the office to improve efficiencies and reduce defects but there is still resistance to the adoption of such changes from some parties, subsequently the uptake on the use of available technologies to assist with the delivery of projects is not as rapid as I would hope for.
What do you do for fun?
My weekends are usually filled with family time visiting Welsh beaches. I remain an avid sports fan and love watching football and playing the occasional round of golf.