A Coventry businessman has
signed off as chairman of one of the most influential trade
organisations in the country.
Clive Benfield delivered a
morale-boosting message to the construction industry following his
12-month stint as chairman of the Construction Confederation, a body
made up of over 5,000 companies from all divisions of the building
During his year in office, Mr
Benfield, chairman of the Coventry-based Benfield Group, led a
delegation to the European Parliament to push the industry's interests
and concerns, and has travelled over 10,000 miles
across the UK.
"It has been a
tremendous year for me personally and a very good one for the
Confederation. There have been several issues I have had to address
during the year but, in general, the industry is in robust health.
"The economy has
stabilised and that is vital for the construction industry. A few
years ago when there was a more marked "boom and bust"
cycle, the industry trained a great number of people only to find
there was no work once they had qualified.
"The industry is making
great strides to use new technology in all its forms, improving
construction methods and embracing environmental issues.
"Europe is an issue
both in terms of the contract opportunities and the legislation
which emanates from there.
"The visit to
Strasbourg was a real highlight and a great success. We had a
private meeting with the Enterprise and Information Society
commissioner, Erkki Liikanen and were the first construction
delegation from any country to meet with him. We are confident it
will stand us in good stead."
Mr Benfield also oversaw a re-organisation
of the Confederation during his year in office.
"If you got Rail Miles
as you do Air Miles, I would be able to travel to Australia. I have
lost count of the times I have had to go to London and have attended
meetings in Scotland and on the south coast.
have made many new friends I would never have otherwise met and I
think my public speaking must have improved!"