Technology as a Way to Retrain and Recruit at the UK Infrastructure Show

Procurement and people were on the agenda at the recent UK Infrastructure Show (UKIS), held at the NEC in Birmingham on Tuesday 12th March.

Jon Loveday, Director of Infrastructure, Enterprise, and Growth at the Infrastructure and Projects Authority, believed that recruitment isn’t the answer to bridging the skills gap, but rather that there should be a focus on upskilling or retraining those already in the industry.

His keynote address began by addressing the main challenges in the industry and focused on recruitment. He suggested we should be making the industry more attractive to those working in it by offering more training opportunities. This in turn would make the sector more appealing to those looking for a career – an idea in a similar vein to what was discussed at the RSMA Annual Conference earlier in the year.

This sentiment was repeated throughout the day, along with ideas around how to best measure success on projects beyond the bottom line, logistics and productivity and making the procurement process greener [GU1] through planning to help achieve net zero targets.

These big ideas were discussed throughout the day on different stages including: Future Pipelines Zone, Market Insight Zone, Portfolio & Case Study Zone, Supply Chain Development Zone and Sustainability and Social Value Zone.

UKIS was combined with the Procurement Act Expo, and both events aimed to connect supply chains, buyers, and suppliers in a dynamic and collaborative environment, creating a space to engage, exchange ideas, and create new relationships. This was achieved through talks from keynote speakers across various stages, networking areas, and exhibition stands.

The Re-flow team were at stand U09 speaking to attendees about how their award-winning field management software could help businesses become more efficient, leaving them time to implement these ‘big ideas’.

Graham Pardoe, Business Development Manager said, ‘Re-flow was designed to help companies become more efficient by reducing manual processes, automating them where possible, and streamlining operations so there is a free flow of accurate and real-time data at all times. Knowing how your business is running and being able to accurately measure the progress of jobs is just the first step. When you know where you are, you can invest in the future. It is our hope that by implementing Re-flow, companies have more time to focus on how to be more sustainable, on retention and recruitment, and on developing relationships with green suppliers and implementing new technologies.

Technology really is the way forward and a great solution to upskilling the current workforce. It is also more appealing to a younger generation. UKIS is our third show of the year, and we are starting to see patterns and recurring industry challenges – all vital information for growing Re-flow and further helping the sector.’

With a brand-new stand design prominently place at the front of the hall, there was a lot of footfall and the Re-flow team demonstrated the software’s…

  • powerful data-driven forms – made as simple or complicated as needed, with bespoke formulas and custom fields
  • new A.I. reporting – to make data more visual and easier to understand
  • tracking capabilities – to ensure users always know the location of their operatives and equipment