The Construction Industry Group of Northern Ireland have appointed a new Chairman. Stephen Kane, Managing Director of Ridgeway and representing the Hire Association Europe, takes over from Derek Martin, MD of H&J Martin and the past President of the Construction Employers Federation.
Stephen, who is also a member of the Hire Association Europe, said he was honoured and somewhat humbled to be elected and thanked the CIGNI Board for their vote of confidence. Stephen will serve two years as Chair of CIGNI and will continue to represent HAE.
Commented Graham Arundell, HAE Managing Director: “Stephen is a strong advocate of the construction sector in Northern Ireland and of the specialist role played by hire companies. HAE is delighted to continue to support Stephen in his new role and we wish him well. I know Stephen is particularly interested in construction safety matters, as evidenced by his own company, Ridgeway, becoming SafeHire certified.”
Said Stephen: “Since its formation in 1998, CIG in Northern Ireland has come a long way and I would pay tribute to the outgoing chairman, past chairs, board and previous council members for their commitment and efforts during this time.
“This has been said repeatedly recently I know but, during the past five plus years, we have witnessed the most intense recession that most business people have ever experienced. While there are some green shoots, the economic recovery in Northern Ireland, and in particular within construction, is still very fragile.
“During this time CIGNI, and our individual groupings, have worked tirelessly to ensure better regulation, efficient and transparent procurement, zero harm for those working in the industry, a competent and qualified workforce, prompt and fair payment practices and most importantly a delivery pipeline of construction projects that are relevant, achievable and current. This will be an ongoing process for CIGNI and core to our role.”
Stephen added: “It’s important to mention that also during recent times, some of our larger members and their supply chains have shown tremendous resilience by broadening their portfolio to new markets across the water and further afield, simultaneously striving to continuously improve quality, delivery and innovative methods of construction.
“This has earned ‘NI Construction Industry’ a world class reputation with major clients. Someday, in hopefully the not too distant future, we will have an opportunity to practice this experience back in Northern Ireland within a rebalanced economy.
“Going forward, we must unite and intensify our efforts to improve the operating environment for all those within the construction industry. We must shout even louder to highlight the important and essential contribution and multiplier that our industry makes to the NI economy and the role we can and will play in ensuring sustainable economic, social and environmental benefits we can achieve for every citizen.”