O’Brien Contractors champion prestigious Construction News Awards 2015

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We are proud to announce that we have sponsored the Construction Consultancy of the Year category at this year’s Construction News Awards.

We’ve a special affiliation with the awards, having been crowned Specialist Contractor of the Year (turnover up to £25m) in the Construction News Specialists Awards 2015 and ‘Tomorrow’s Company’ in the Construction News Awards 2014.

Explaining the decision to sponsor the category, Phil Griffiths, O’Brien Contractors, Commercial Director, said: “The awards provide the perfect opportunity to celebrate the outstanding achievements made by the construction industry during 2014. From the construction site up to the boardroom, everyone across all levels of a successful team, who have excelled on strategy, vision, innovation and quality during the last year, is recognised.”

The Construction Consultancy of the Year finalists, include: Capita, EC Harris, Hill International, Inc., Mace, Mott MacDonald, Pick Everard, RISE Management Consulting and Turner & Townsend.

Phil Griffiths added: “Having previously received recognition for our business success and innovation through a number of industry awards, including Construction News, we felt it was vital for the business to sponsor this initiative and play a leading role in recognising construction excellence.”

The event is being held at the Grosvenor House Hotel, London on June 30th and is expected to attract in the region of 1,300 industry leaders to celebrate their achievements.

“This years’ finalists look to be of a very high calibre and we congratulate them all, especially those in our sponsored category, on making the final stages against some strong opposition.”

O’Brien Contractors crowned Specialist Contractor of the Year 2015

Our commitment to the construction industry and the Midlands has seen us awarded Specialist Contractor of the Year at the Construction News Specialist Awards.

Leading groundworks and civil engineering contractor, O’Brien, has been awarded the prestigious Specialist Contractor of the Year (turnover up to £25m) prize at the Construction News Specialists Awards.

The title is awarded for creating an impressive strategic plan in response to the recent economic downturn, diversifying into new work streams and targeting higher value projects.

The Awards judges said, “O’Brien Contractors were able to demonstrate that they are successfully implementing a plan through investment in training and development.”

In 2009, the company’s turnover was £11m with profit only £73k. Its plan to invest, diversify, train, overhaul processes and focus on risks and opportunities has increased average project value from £463,000 to £874,000 during 2014 and turnover up by 68% over 5 years.

The judges were particularly impressed with the level of investment in new and innovative plant and equipment to support the productivity of the business. O’Brien has invested over £4 million in new plant, technology and training programmes, delivering on its commitment to improve efficiency and reduce ongoing costs.

O’Brien were also commended for the results of the strategic plan which led to a strong portfolio of projects and customers as well as an impressive improvement in both top line and bottom line performance – major projects include: Marks and Spencer in Longbridge, Birmingham for Morgan Sindall, New Cross Hospital Emergency Centre in Wolverhampton for Kier Construction and Jaguar Land Rover’s Engineering Facility for Galliford Try in Gaydon.

Peter O’Brien, managing director, O’Brien Contractors, said: “We have always believed that a strong investment in our people and technology are important in helping to stand out from the crowd and be recognised as a leader in our field. This has proven to be a winning approach and this national Award recognises the hard work, commitment and dedication of the whole O’Brien team.”

Read the Construction News Specialist Awards 2015 judges write-up, click here.

Recovery can take hold in 2015 but crucial ingredients needed

Construction News Magazine – SME Spotlight 16/01/2015

With order books filling up and the financial situation for many businesses is looking rosy, it’s clear to see why 2015 is predicted to be the year when the recovery of the construction industry gets well under way. Looking towards the year ahead, there are a few key elements that we need to ensure take place in order to maintain a stable and prosperous market.

Above all else, investment in our current pool of workers and development of succession planning should take centre stage. Ensuring the upskilling of employees so that they contribute towards plugging the skills gap and helping to realise their career objectives is, a crucial factor in delivering continued business growth and improvement.

With 400,000 skills jobs lost in the construction industry during the recession and an estimated 400,000 due to be lost through retirement over the next five years, it is imperative that we put in place schemes to get the message to younger people at the grassroots level, demonstrating that careers in construction have a clear path to progression. By starting a drive towards recruiting more apprenticeships now, businesses will guarantee that in five years’ time they see the benefit of having a knowledgeable and confident professional who has been developed through their organisation.

The Health and Safety Executives’ revisions to CDM 2007, driven by the need to align the UK’s interpretation of CDM with the EU’s Temporary and Mobiles Construction Sites Directive (TMCSD), are expected to come into force during 2015. Whilst I support change which is designed to increase efficiency while reducing bureaucracy, we have an obligation to make sure the new regulations are implemented and remain mindful that the final outcome is a far safer environment for our staff to operate in.

The Government’s planning reforms, designed to make the system easier to implement and get the country building once again, have now been in operation for some three years. In many regions, like the Midlands, greater governance is required so that local authorities undertake their obligations and support neighbouring councils who have a land capacity issue. This will enable the unlocking of more land for much needed housing and employment to further boost the sector’s recovery. Should we see a change of leadership during the next election, any change in policy needs to be for the greater good, rather than a kneejerk reaction.

From SMEs to large blue chip organisations, we all have a commitment to guarantee that alongside our commercial aims, we take our responsibilities to the environment, our employees and the wider community more seriously than ever before. This should be the year where we introduce a record number of initiatives and introduce more efficient technology to ensure operations are as sustainable as possible.