As the certified representative body for the construction industry in Northern Ireland, the Construction Employers Federation (CEF) represents the interests of not only its member companies but those of roughly 65,000 skilled workers engaged within the wider construction sector.
The Federation provides services to over 800 local companies that range from burgeoning micro-businesses to some of the largest and most prominent construction companies operating in Northern Ireland. In total, members of the CEF account for over 70% of construction output here. Below NI Builder looks at some of the work carried out by the Federation in its role as the ‘Voice of the Industry’:
Much of the work carried out by the CEF involves using its position as the only certified representative body of one of the largest industrial sectors in NI to lobby government and client bodies on behalf of the industry.
The Federation promotes member views on issues that include public procurements, skills requirements, housing supply and more recently planning reform, investment in waste water infrastructure, and calls for the NI Executive to spend already allocated budgets for construction before it is required to be returned to the Treasury. Often this influence is wielded behind the scenes rather than in the public arena but the results are tangible and benefit the entire sector and wider economy.
As well as having been responsible for setting up the Workers Pension Trust, the CEF oversees a variety of schemes designed to benefit the construction sector that include:
Construction Skills Register: Aimed at raising health and safety standards and reduce accidents in the industry, the Construction Skills Register (CSR) is a register of construction workers who have successfully completed industry approved health and safety training and assessment every 4 years.
Safe-T-Cert: Designed for contractors and construction related companies, Safe-T-Cert is a third-party accredited health and safety management system recognised throughout Northern Ireland, the Republic of Ireland and GB.
NVIR-O-CERT: An environmental management system and auditing scheme, NVIR-O-CERT is designed to help companies in the construction sector meet the requirements of the Northern Ireland public sector procurement policy.
As part of its role in promoting the construction sector, the CEF launched the Construction Excellence Awards in 1999. The brainchild of current CEF Managing Director, John Armstrong, the annual awards show has grown over twenty years to be one of the most highly esteemed and hotly contested events of the construction calendar and a treasured opportunity to showcase and celebrate the achievements of the Northern Ireland construction industry.
Sadly, this year, given the uniquely high level of judging due diligence required on-site, the current climate meant the Construction Excellence Awards had to be put on hold, however, the CEF team are already hard at work planning a bigger than ever awards night in 2021.
To find more information on how the CEF assists its members and the wider construction sector, visit www.cefni.co.uk