HIRE 2019 has been hailed a resounding success after HAE EHA’s annual conference brought together industry stakeholders and influencers for the best programme yet of speaker presentations and exhibitor stands and demonstrations.
The overriding themes of safety and career development were outlined in the opening addresses by HAE EHA Chair Brian Sherlock and commercial manager Paul Gaze alongside Scott Ball of HireTrain, and a full and fascinating programme followed.
First up was Dr Anne-Marie Imafidon MBE, a British computing, mathematics and language genius who founded Stemettes in 2013, a social enterprise promoting women in Science Technology Engineering and Maths (STEM) careers. Her uplifting presentation focused on the challenges of enticing women into these traditionally male areas of employment, explaining how STEM roles are “incredibly creative” and all about problem solving.
Mark Noonan of CITB then followed with a complementary examination of how Pathways to Hire is expected to also encourage more new starters into what is being positioned as a dynamic and appealing career path; and Dr Léa Cléret of Leadership Trust continued with how to hang onto valued team members through a sustained programme of leadership and inclusive behaviours. Frank Elkins, COO of Travis Perkins, rounded off the morning with a thought-provoking presentation on measures being taken to tackle dumper and digger safety.
The afternoon was kicked off by Chris Lucas of HSE who explained the link between inadequate welfare facilities and construction worker ill health, and steps being taken to address the issues. Chief economist of Barbour-ABI and AMA Research, Tom Hall, gave a fascinating insight into the state of the UK’s economy as well as that of the construction sector; followed by Det Supt Neil Austin of West Mercia Police, who had the audience gripped with his overview of ATM theft and the work of the National Intelligence Unit for Serious and Organised Acquisitive Crime.
Finally, with mental health taking centre stage in many nationwide forums at the moment, there was a timely and thought-provoking addition to the debates from Brian Parker of AFI Uplift and Paul Gaze of HAE EHA, on creating and updating mental health policies in the workplace and the ideal model for such policies.
HAE EHA chief executive officer Graham Arundell commented: “This was without doubt the most varied and engaging line-up of speakers we have ever had at our annual conference, and it was also gratifying to see many of our members exhibiting alongside the highly informative presentations. HAE EHA is making great strides with several proactive partners to really support and grow the Hire sector, to develop new opportunities and evolve as necessary to continue making a crucial contribution to the UK economy. Hire 2019 underlined these objectives and could not have been more closely allied to the theme of collaboration, innovation and inspiration.”