At Powers, we are committed to looking at ways in which we can reduce our carbon emissions in the ongoing journey towards net zero. To this end, we reviewed our carbon emissions in January and updated our environmental targets for 2023 https://tinyurl.com/mvpznb3f.
We were also pleased to see the launch of the Save Construction initiative. With more than 3,000 construction firms failing every year – more than in any other sector – the UK construction sector is consistently ranked number one for insolvency. The initiative is an industry-driven taskforce influencing the stability of the UK construction industry and its SME supply chain – something we feel strongly about. Its’ ‘Not Just Men & Muddy Boots’ campaign is being distributed to every high school and college through the Careers and Enterprise network. The aim of the campaign is all about attracting a more diverse group of people into the construction sector to tackle the skills shortage.
With our focus firmly on encouraging the next generation into the profession, Powers was keen to support National Apprenticeship Week (6 – 12 February) and highlight the Geospatial Survey Technician Apprenticeship. National Apprenticeship Week takes place on 5 – 11 February in 2024.
We also had the pleasure of attending Place North West’s Lancashire Development Update, which took place on 9 February at the Deepdale Stadium, and included fascinating presentations and panel discussions with a huge turnout from the industry.
In March, The Survey Association held its AGM at Anfield, home of Liverpool Football Club. As our trade association, it was a great opportunity to attend the AGM. It gave us the chance to catch up with fellow members, witness and engage with the business of the AGM and hear from the keynote speaker, Alison Watson MBE. We also attended another Place North West event, the Meet the Authorities Event, which focused on how to create successful public-private partnerships.
Attending industry events is very important to ensure that Powers understands what is happening within the industry, but it is also good to showcase some of the projects that we carry out. Our work at Erddig Hall was highlighted on our website and social media channels during the month of April.
During May, we were busy out onsite across sites in North Wales and the North West. Lucy Powers was also invited to the CICES Roundtable event, which looked at such pertinent areas as pay disparity within the geospatial profession – both between genders and between UK and overseas business, and also between different related roles. Topics also covered raising the profile of geospatial survey on a global basis and attracting more young people into the profession.
Place North West’s Cheshire Development Update took place at Chester Racecourse in June and local authorities, operators and developers shared their insight into doing business in the area, from regenerating towns and the attractive housing market, through to delivering science and heavy industry projects. We always meet loads of great contacts at Place North West’s events, they are the highlight of our social calendar!
In July, we were pleased to see the new Geospatial Commission Strategy 2030 was released. The strategy is a timely initiative that encourages the information we, as surveyors, collate and analyse to have far-reaching uses beyond those boundaries. It should provide useful data that can go towards defining the shape of future development and living. We also attended the Save Construction event in Manchester, which looked at the Collaborative Working Dynamic in the Construction Industry, which provided much food for thought.
Following months of hard work by the apprenticeship trailblazer group, The Level 3 Diploma in Geospatial Surveying was unbelievably created in July and finished in August. It was then put forward to be mandated to the Geospatial Apprenticeship towards the month’s end. This must be the quickest qualification creation that exists (although I think educationalist, Alison Watson would beg to differ). The group is now talking to technical colleges across the country to encourage them to adopt the updated apprenticeship, along with the mandated Level 3 Diploma in Geospatial Surveying qualification.
At Powers, we have a number of apprentices and Franky Roberts joined Powers as our latest apprentice ready for the start of the new college year and the third year of the Geospatial Survey Technician Apprenticeship at Cronton Sixth Form College. Working closely with our operations manager, Paul Birtles, Franky shared his initial thoughts about the apprenticeship: “Before joining Powers, I was at Cronton Sixth Form and working as a lifeguard. I jumped at the opportunity to join the surveying profession. I am excited about the opportunity to learn from other experienced surveyors. I am already enjoying the problem solving that comes with the work, working in different environments and meeting new people.”
October was a month for conferences and exhibitions and we managed to include a visit to Healthcare Estates, Education Estates and Highways UK. It is great to get out and about meeting existing and potential clients and partners.
Exhibitions and conferences continued into November, when we attended the Forum for the Built Environment’s breakfast briefing, which took place at Storyhouse in Chester, 3 November. Then Lucy Powers, director at Powers, who is also co-chair of the geospatial apprenticeships trailblazer group, presented to approximately 150 members of the land surveying profession at TSA’s annual conference. The presentation, bringing the audience up to speed on the Level 3 Geospatial Survey Technician Apprenticeship, was also designed to motivate and inspire other surveying companies to start recruiting their own apprentices and help encourage more people into the profession.
We are now in December and are finishing off our projects before a well-earned Christmas break. As we look forward to time around the Christmas tree, we would like to wish all our clients, partners, suppliers and friends of Powers a wonderful Christmas, and here’s to a successful 2024!