Can we shape an industry to be proud of by 2050?

Over the next 35 years the construction industry will have to change radically to meet the needs of advancing technology and increasingly demands for efficiency. The individuals and firms engaged across the supply chain will have to respond.

But how and in what way? What will the industry of the future have to look like if it is to meet the needs of future clients and deliver successful projects run by the best available staff?

To start the process of finding the answers to these important questions, the Construction Industry Council (CIC) set up its 2050 Group of young professionals in 2010 to drill into the issues. 

This month it launched a new survey: “Creating a great industry we can be proud to work in” which invites professionals across all disciplines and of all ages and stages in their careers to present what it describes as “an insider’s view” of a successful future industry and work environment.

Louise Clarke chairs the CIC 2050 Group and tells Infrastructure Intelligence why the group is so important to the future and explains its objective and how it will influence the future direction of a sustainable industry.

To complete the 2050 Group survey click here

The results of the survey will be presented at an event hosted by CIRIA on the 29th April. Details here.

Interview with Louise Clarke, chair of the 2050 Group.

Q: What is the 2050 Group?

A: The 2050 group is a group of professionals whose career will last from now until 2050. We represent a wide range of disciplines across the built environment and aim to reflect the diversity of the industry and include the views of all respected trade bodies and professional institutions.  Our remit is to ensure that our built environment is prepared for future pressures including climate change and demographic press and to ensure that we have the right people and workforce in place with the right skills, opportunities and diversity in construction.

Q: When was it formed and why?

A: The 2050 Group was established in 2010 to feed into the government’s Innovation and Growth Team review led by the Construction Industry Council and the then Government Chief Construction Adviser Paul Morrell.  It was formed to represent people in their early careers from across the different built environment disciplines to feed in their thoughts and ideas to the Innovation and Growth Team report.  

Q: It reports to the Construction Leadership Council – what impact does it have on delivering the 2025 strategy?

A: The 2050 Group is also part of the delivery team of the Construction Leadership Council so we are involved in some of the activities in the delivery of the strategy.  Our main objective is to ensure that future generations have a voice in the delivery of the strategy.  We are supportive and input into the relevant work streams but as a group of volunteers are resource is limited.  

Q: Who can join and how do you get involved?

A: The 2050 Group membership comprises of nominated members from the different institutes.  If you are interested in being part of the committee then please contact your institution to see if they have a representative on the Group.  The group is also keen to establish a wider network of contacts in the industry by getting involved in our activities including our surveys and events and by connecting with us through social media via our LinkedIn Group and twitter account (@2050group).  

Q: What are your goals for 2014 and tangible outputs?

A: Our goals are to continue to be the voice for people at the early stages of their career. For the first half of the year we are concentrating our efforts on running a survey to understand what inspires people in the industry. Once the survey is closed at the end of the month we will publish a report and provide some clear messages to industry and the Construction Leadership Council on what inspires people. The 2050 Group is also involved in a number of events and will be holding some debates following the outcomes of our survey.  Finally we are also keen to transfer knowledge between more experienced people within the industry to those who are just entering. To do this we are going to run a speed mentoring event. The aim is to then encourage other people within the industry to also run events so that the transfer of knowledge can become widespread.  We also intend to keep using social media as a means to contact people. 

Q: What does success look like? 

A: Success is having clear messages from our survey and disseminating these through to the industry.  We want people who are at the early stages of their career to have the opportunity to get their opinions across to the leaders in the industry to ensure we help shape the future of the construction industry. We also wanted great collaboration between senior members in the industry and those in their early careers to enable a great dialogue at different scales from within companies to across industry.    

If you would like to contact Antony Oliver about this, or any other story, please email