GMIT conference to focus on the best of the construction industry

A conference to mark the first international construction management day will be hosted by the GMIT Department of Building & Civil Engineering at GMIT’s Dublin Road campus, Galway, on Monday next March 14. The Chartered Institute of Building (CIOB ), the International Project Management Association (IPMA ) and the Construction Management Associations of America (CMMA ), Japan (CMAJ ) and Korea (CMAK ) promote International Construction Management Day.

It is marked annually on the second Monday of March and is a chance to celebrate the major contribution of the construction industry to the world economy. A number of high profile speakers will give their expert views on the current state of the construction industry and its future prospects from their own unique perspectives.

Tom Parlon, Director General of the Construction Industry Federation (CIF ), will speak on behalf of the building contractors representative body and is expected to offer some timely advice to the incoming Government on measures to create employment in the construction industry.

Joe Byrne, Regional Director of John Sisk & Son, one of the largest general contractors, will give a more personal view of the effects the recession has had on his company and its plans for the future. Speakers representing both public and private sector clients of the construction industry will give a different perspective. Larry McEvoy from the Department of Education & Skills Building Unit will outline the department's construction needs for the future. The Government's 'Infrastructure Investment Priorities' capital plan published in July last year envisaged a spend of around €4 billion on education projects in the period 2010 to 2016 making the department one of the largest construction clients in the country.

Vincent Quish, representing the commercial and property department of Tesco Ireland, will outline the company’s plans for the future as well as reviewing some of its innovative approaches to construction methods, construction management and sustainability.

The opening speaker will be John O'Regan, Director of Davis Langdon, now part of the worldwide AECOM Group, which offers a comprehensive and interdisciplinary construction consultancy service to numerous high profile clients around the world. For many years Davis Langdon has kept the Irish industry informed with detailed research publications and its well-regarded annual construction review.

In a similar vein Mr O’Regan will start off proceedings with an overview of where the industry is now and its future prospects. GMIT and The Chartered Institute of Building (CIOB ) will complete the range of speakers by adding some educational perspectives on the construction industry and its training needs. Martin Taggart, Chair of the Programme Board for the Construction Management Degree programme at GMIT and conference co-ordinator, says GMIT wants to provide a platform (with the conference ) to help dispel the myth that the construction industry has closed for business and to promote future employment growth and innovation in the sector.

Mr Taggart added “The industry has certainly been very badly affected by the recession, but much good work still goes on. The latest CSO statistics show that the industry still employs well in excess of 125,000 people nationally and all parties in the recent general election cited construction as an obvious driver for increased employment in areas such as Capital Investment, Renewable Energy, Water Infrastructure and Energy Efficient Retro Fitting of Buildings"

Attendance at the conference is free and is open to all interested parties and regional stakeholders including members of the Construction Industry Federation (CIF ), The Chartered Institute of Building: (CIOB ), The Society of Chartered Surveyors (SCS ), Engineers Ireland (EI ) and The Royal Institution of Architects of Ireland (RIAI ). For further information on the conference or GMIT Built Environment programmes please contact [email protected] or telephone 091 742875.

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