As we begin the New Year, there is a sense of Groundhog Day for many of us. We are grappling with uncertainties surrounding the latest Covid variant, the disruption it is causing and how it may affect us in the coming months.
Over the last two years, we have shown our resilience as an industry and a profession, and we will continue to do so in 2022. It is also a timely reminder that we all feel the strain at times in our personal and professional lives. With that in mind, being conscious of our own and our colleagues’ mental health should be a priority for us all.
Naturally, the beginning of the New Year provides us with the chance to pause and refocus on our health and safety obligations. This year, more than ever, it is vital that we continue to challenge ourselves on the basics of health and safety, alongside managing Covid protocols.
Competence is at the heart of good health and safety practices. As professionals and members of the Institute, we must continue to ensure that we develop and maintain our knowledge and skills, and ensure that those we work with, or are responsible for, continue to do so as well.
This coming year will continue to be one of change for the Institute, with many new activities being implemented to support members. The rollout of professional registration with the Engineering Council through our agreement with the Chartered Institution of Highways and Transportation (CIHT) marks the next step in helping members to gain additional recognition for their knowledge and experience.
The Institute will also continue to work with our branches to share best practices and knowledge across the membership network. Plus, we will continue to produce support and guidance in key technical areas and the critical challenges on sustainability, decarbonisation, and environmental management.
The project to merge with the National Stone Centre (NSC) continues and will see us relocate to the site in Wirksworth in early 2022. The move will mark a new chapter for the Institute and our members and is the first step in a long-term project designed to help us realise our charitable objectives in the coming years.
Whilst 2022 may begin with some uncertainty for us all, we have good reason to be optimistic as a sector and a profession. The global challenges facing society will depend on us delivering solutions for building new infrastructures. Over many generations, we have shown as an industry that we are innovative, adapt to changing situations, and utilise technology to develop better and more efficient processes. We will need to continue doing that in 2022 and the years beyond.
Most of all, let’s start the year well and ensure that we make it a healthy and safe one for ourselves and our colleagues.