The APCC-ACIF Strategic Forum met on the 12th of October, marking another important industry-wide meeting of key stakeholders dedicated to shaping the future of the construction industry. With the Forum’s foundation built on the collective experience and a common vision, members reconfirmed their shared commitment to ensuring the building and construction sector improves its gender representation and continues the cultural change required to attract the much-needed workforce.

Workplace well-being was a prominent topic, with members agreeing that workplace stress and fatigue needs to be addressed in how governments partner with industry to deliver social and linear infrastructure. Potential interventions were explored, including adequate length of tender times and, where possible, not releasing tenders over the Christmas period. In addition, the inclusion of a 5-day work week was highlighted as a crucial issue on government radars. The Forum focused on strategies to support project timelines without compromising employee welfare. Members concluded that productivity can be enhanced when considering the broader well-being of the industry and the individuals who work in it.

The importance of gender diversity and inclusion was also explored during the meeting. The imperative for gender diversity across all roles and levels of seniority was discussed, as was the need to develop and socialise the many and varied opportunities and career pathways for women. Members acknowledged the need for an immediate and multi-pronged approach to increasing the number of women working in the building and construction industry. There was collective agreement that early industry collaboration and consultation on gender diversity and inclusion policies is critical to such policies achieving the desired outcomes and making a difference.

As the transition to net zero ramps up, there was recognition of environmental imperatives within the construction sector and the challenges industry faces in this transition. Topics ranged from strategies to reduce embodied carbon and increasing circularity with recycled content. Standardisation arose as a critical step towards delivering on governments’ climate change commitments. As is evident, the synergy between government and industry continues to have a pivotal role in navigating these challenges effectively.

This collective statement to progress gender representation, mental health, and net zero transition underlines the Strategic Forum’s determination to ensure the building and construction industry moves in a positive direction where it is an attractive career, gender diverse, and sustainable.

Members also noted the planned release for later in October of the publication Risk Allocation of Subsurface Conditions. Further, the Upfront Collaboration and Communication paper is slated for release towards the end of the year. As the governing bodies for the Australasian BIM Advisory Board, ACIF and APCC members also celebrated the release of ABAB’s Harmonisation of Building Information Modelling and Digital Engineering Services Procurement: A Guide to Contemporary Practice and the release later this month of Australasian BIM Benefits Reporting: A Guide to Information Collection.

The APCC-ACIF Strategic Forum remains focused on its mission to facilitate joint pathways for improving building and construction industry productivity in Australasia. By fostering collaboration and hosting strategic discussions, the Forum is well-positioned to guide the building and construction industry towards excellence in its practices, commitment to gender equity, and prioritising workforce well-being.

Dr James Cameron                                                                               Teresa Scott

ACIF Executive Director                                                                      APCC Executive Director

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