President's Column May 2024


Category: President's Column

In January of this year, the BCSA hosted the inaugural meeting of the Young Person’s Working Group at Carrwood Park in Leeds, which was attended by over 20 representatives of our member companies. The inspiration to start this initiative came from the BCSA’s Sustainability Manager, Dr Michael Sansom, who recognised the importance of involving our younger members to contribute to the growth and development of the Association over the coming years. The idea was further reinforced following a visit to one of our long-serving members, BD Structures, who are based in the North West of England, where I met with the next generation of a family-owned business who clearly demonstrated their enthusiasm and desire to improve and modernise steelwork fabrication and construction.

The second group meeting in late April was hosted at the William Hare manufacturing plant in Scarborough, where the group was able to see a demonstration of the robotic assembly and welding machine, that is now an integrated part of the daily manufacturing output of that plant. This new working group is a significant addition to BCSA’s traditional approach to seek member involvement and opinion across the important and topical issues relevant to our industry. As the industry is now faced with different working practices, by means of communication and extensive social media activity, I believe that it’s important to listen to the views of our younger generation of steel industry executives to ensure that the BCSA is in a position to manage the changes anticipated by new and developing technologies such as AI and Automated Manufacturing. The group will, of course, determine its own level of input and feed any proposals back to the BCSA Council for consideration and appropriate action. David Thomas, the Group Representative from William Hare stated: “The BCSA Young Members Group aims to empower the next generation within the steelwork industry by providing them with a platform to voice their opinions, address current issues, and actively shape the future direction of the BCSA and the wider industry.”

We are currently working on a calendar of events that will include social, educational and practical learning through which, the group can demonstrate their visions and achievements to the wider BCSA membership. Further information on this will be made available shortly. I trust that we would all recognise the importance of this new Young Members Group and, if you or your company aren’t already involved, I would encourage you to support this initiative and enquire about representation and ongoing involvement. Information is available on the BCSA’s website, and regular updates will be published in New Steel Construction magazine.

On a separate matter, may I take this opportunity to welcome our new CEO, Jonathan Clemens, who succeeded Dr David Moore in March 2024. David, who successfully led the Association through the turbulent times of Brexit, Covid and the start of the Ukraine war, has now taken up a new position of Deputy CEO to assist Jonathan during the transition period. Although David will still provide a major input into BCSA committees and working groups, I think it is appropriate at this time to register our appreciation for his outstanding contribution to the Association over the past two decades, including the last five years as the BCSA CEO.

Gary Simmons, BCSA President

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Gary Simmons, President BCSA

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