BAM boss backs unsung construction managers

Grant Prior 14 years ago
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BAM chief executive Graham Cash believes the daily tasks of construction managers would be too much for bosses in other sectors to cope with.

Cash defended the skills of construction managers ahead of an industry awards event due to be held today.

He said: “Traditionally the business world seems to expect managers to wear a suit and tie and sit behind a desk in an office. In our sector, they wear hard hats and reinforced boots and work in temporary accommodation.

“That image has deceived many into under-valuing the skills that our professionals possess.

“A construction manager not only has to manage a multi-million pound budget, often on tight margins, but he or she – and we do have women managers – also has to manage a very complex technical challenge and one subject to significant regulation.

“When it comes to managing people, construction professionals have literally hundreds and sometimes thousands of people to manage from specialists to labourers, whether employees, sub-contractors, or apprentices.

“Many people talk in business about managing risk. Our people live with it in every sense.

“There is a high degree of susceptibility to risk from what they find in the ground but also from the elements threatening the budget and the timetable – and they live daily in a potentially hazardous environment.

“Even after that, a construction manager has to be a diplomat to the client, a dictator when necessary, and a planner and problem solver throughout. And the community is on their doorstep.

“The scale of these professional demands would defeat many other managers in the UK economy.

“It is time we recognised the skills that construction professionals need and possess. They are highly valuable contributors to our economy and communities.”

Cash was speaking ahead of the Chartered Institute of Building’s annual Construction Manager of the Year Awards today.

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