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Latest Issue


Champions of the Future

Yellow, not Red, is the colour of revolution. Hi-Vis Yellow to be exact. Red is the colour of the paint that Stop the Oil protesters spray statues and other artefacts with and the archaic gowns that Extinction Rebellion wear when they disrupt other people's lives – with the inevitable result that they alienate many people who would otherwise sympathise with their views but have a living to earn and families to keep.

Hi-vis yellow is the uniform of workers in the construction industry who are building the future they aspire to by aiming for net zero carbon construction using embedded carbon calculations, retro fitting of buildings to reduce their reliance on carbon-based fuel and increase their efficiency, and to build an infrastructure that uses electricity sourced from wind, solar and, probably debatable from their point of view, nuclear technologies.

Whether it is by design or by happenstance, the bulk of the reportage focusses on the females involved in their demonstrations, particularly in the case of ER. They are probably more eloquent and relatable than the males in either of the groups, but I am delighted to be able to follow up on this and report on the emphasis that the industry is placing on the recruitment of younger people, and in particular, females, into the profession. The Access Roundtable brought up this issue, with strong views expressed by Sandi Rhys Jones OBE, Senior VP, Chartered Institute of Building on the encouragement and training available for attracting girls to get involved in the industry in all associated professions.

The zeal and commitment shown by the protesters on the streets of London could, therefore, be outdone by the practical application of their skills in building a sustainable future for the rest of the country. Huge changes are underweigh and it is the younger population, more adaptable to change and more familiar with the technologies supporting it, who are going to lead the way. It is up to the older members of the industry to push the right buttons to get them on board.

David Chadwick

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