“In the midst of chaos, there is always opportunity to raise the bar and add value” – Abisogun OBE, (2019)
The last 12months have not only been un-nerving for many in the sector, at both ends of the construction delivery process, but there is still – and always has been – an over-arching requirement to be the best in the market and deliver great projects through competitive advantage and innovation. In his manifesto, the Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan pledged to “establish a construction academy scheme with the housebuilding industry, to close the gap between our ambitious housing targets and the need for more skilled construction workers in London”. The Mayor of London, has also committed to ensuring that the sustainable provision of 'opportunity and measurable participation' with London's BAME community, remains front-of-mind, and not an after-thought.
DCS Founder & Chair, Bola Abisogun OBE FRICS, took the opportunity to participate and offer technical backing and support to the Mayor’s Construction Academy procurement process which began in 2018; you can read more about the MCA process here. His notable efforts, in particular for a more diverse and representative industry, has since been recognised, on this occasion, through the development of a strategic partnership, which remains unique, in a number of interesting ways.
Last week, at the formal launch event hosted by Jules Pipe CBE, the Deputy Mayor for London for Planning, Regeneration & Skills, confirmed that the College of Haringey, Enfield and North East London 'CoNEL', was one of the first in London, to receive the 'Quality Mark' and be referred to as a Mayor’s Construction Academy [MCA] hub. Representatives from CoNEL, who were in attendance, included Kurt Hintz, Interim Principal and Glen Lambert, Head of School of Construction. You can read the press release by CoNEL here.
As professionals, when we talk (generally) about giving back to the local community, for many, that may not always necessitate that we ‘actually’ go back in time too. However, that is exactly what has occurred here, with this unique, sector-leading partnership. In anticipation of going onto study Quantity Surveying at University in the early 90’s, Bola attended the Tottenham College of Technology in North London, during the late 80’s where he successfully completed a BTEC OND in Construction Management – having completed his A-Level study a year earlier than planned. Almost 30 years later, and following a meeting of minds, that took place at a recent Haringey Construction Partnership meeting, chaired by Steve Carr, Assistant Director, Economic Development & Growth at the London Borough of Haringey, Bola has ‘actually’ returned to North London to 'give back', to CoNEL [previously known as Tottenham Tech].
The strategic relationship formed with DiverseCity Surveyors [DCS], is premised upon two key pillars. The first is that the London Borough of Haringey have wide and rather exciting plans to regenerate key areas across borough, with the intrinsic interests of local residents and businesses, at the core of their critical thinking. Social Value, achieved through ‘positive impact’ within the procurement process, is a skill that Bola has successfully delivered elsewhere, in other London boroughs. Currently, there exists a growing opportunity [and genuine appetite] to extend the ‘knowledge base & technical expertise’ to the current and next generation of talent, in the form of ‘aspiring’ Chartered Surveyors; most of whom will be living and/or working within the borough of Haringey.
Second, the sheer scale, size and complexity of upcoming real estate projects being master-planned by the Borough – currently led by Cllr Joseph Ejiofor – lends itself to an exciting future for project delivery and therefore greater, project-wide adoption, of the ‘emerging’ BIM process.
As a forward thinking network of industry professionals, DCS will be supporting both CoNEL and the wider Haringey Construction Partnership, in this long-term, multi-faceted endeavour, working alongside Daniel Osei, Senior s106 E&S Officer. Access UK, a leading employment and skills provider, located in the heart of the borough, will also play an integral part of community engagement 'at grass roots level' which remains their USP; you can observe the commendable work of AccessUK here.
DCS Founder & Chair, Bola Abisogun OBE, FRICS has been elected to lead on the BIM-Tech initiative, in what will undoubtedly prove to be an interesting time to ‘educate and participate’ in the knowledge transfer of BIM related technologies and skills development across this exciting London borough.
More to follow…………….