The new President of the Federation of Master Builders in Northern Ireland wants the construction industry to be recognised as an economy builder for the province.
In his first address to the FMB NI’s Annual Conference, Rory Regan of Cookstown-based Regan Contracts, also said that a new focus needs to be placed on apprenticeships for the industry.
Rory takes over from fellow Cookstown man Stephen Mulligan of Forthill Design and Development and he will be supported in his new position by new Vice-President, Ian Lowry of Lowry Building & Civil Engineering, and Vice-Chairman Willie Moffitt of Moffitt & Robinson Construction.
As a family-based company working primarily on house building, renovation and extensions, Regan Contracts is similar to many FMB members and Rory believes it has benefited from membership of organisation.
“The company was formed in 1984 and became a member of the FMB soon after,” he said. “I have found FMB membership a valuable source of support and advice. I thoroughly recommend that fellow members use the helplines and services as part of your membership.”
Looking ahead, he feels that the more emphasis should be given to the construction industry in Northern Ireland for its role in boosting the local economy.
Setting out his plans, Rory said, “The focus of my term as President will be to support the FMB in Northern Ireland to ensure that construction is recognised as an ‘economy’ builder. Construction provides schools, hospitals, homes and infrastructure to attract inward
investment. Increased construction activity locally will prevent the droves of construction workers travelling to the UK to find work; assist with the skills drain in the province; and will have a positive knock-on multiplier effect for local businesses.
“My other focus will be apprenticeships. The construction industry invented apprentices and we need to ensure our young people are attracted into the industry and trained appropriately. I am delighted to hear that the FMB is developing a Master Builder apprenticeship standard in England and I hope that this can be transferred to NI in the future.”
In welcoming Rory to his new role, Marie Nawaz, Director of FMB NI, said Rory’s forward-thinking attitude would make a difference.
“We are delighted to welcome Rory as President and are confident he will be able to build on the strong foundations we already have in place in Northern Ireland. His predecessor, Stpehn Mulligan, put in a lot of hard work and dedication to the FMB in Northern Ireland and we must thank him for that. We look forward to him continuing as a valued member of the NI Area Board.
“Rory is well known within the industry and his experience will no doubt be an asset to the FMB as we try to keep construction as a thrust for rebuilding our local economy.”