The Master’s Introduction
The Company’s 2020 Common Hall was held on Thursday 16 January at Saddlers’ Hall. The event was opened with an introduction from the Master, Sue Illman, who spoke on a number of issues. These included how we could maximize the impact of the Construction Liveries Group and build on the success of The Conversation that was held last November. She noted that there was little overlap with the charity work of the members of the Group which tended to be complementary. The Paviors’ London Construction Academy was unique in that it addressed the needs of those who are not in employment, education or training (NEETS). The Master then invited the chairs of each of the Company’s committees to outline their progress during the past year.
Charity Committee Chair: Neil Sandberg
The Company disburses around £120,000 each year of monies raised from its members and from various charity functions. The main recipient of this is the London Construction Academy, which receives £55,000. Rob Kremis spoke about the Academy, which had now been operating for five years. During this time, approximately half of those qualifying from courses found employment, but there is concern that this number was reducing because of fewer job-opportunities being available. Members were urged to encourage their companies to take on Academy graduates as apprentices. In future, those under-18s applying to the Academy will be referred instead to the Construction Youth Trust, which is also a beneficiary of the Paviors’ charity funds, along with Arkwright Scholarships (£30,000). The Company’s military affiliates are also beneficiaries of charity funds (£11,500). The Committee was in touch with Amberley Museum, where there were encouraging signs that a successful partnership with the Company can be put back in place. The Museum would welcome volunteers from the Company. Raising charity funds by the Company was proving challenging and a professional approach was needed to obtaining funds from other sources. John May would be taking over as the Chair of the Charity Committee in March.
Finance Committee Chair: Charlie Laing
The Committee operates a five-year rolling programme and an annual budget. Issues this year have been the implication of the Clerk wishing to work fewer hours and decisions about how much money to spend on wine. New membership has not reached its target this year, nor has sponsorship, both of which have reduced anticipated income. Costs will be covered this year, but budget projections have been reduced.
Marketing Committee Chair: Alex Malmaeus
In addition to ‘marketing’, the Committee also covered ‘communications’. David Ing was thanked for his work producing regular issues of The Pavior magazine, as was Billy McCoubrey for his work keeping the website up-to-date. In the coming year, there was a plan to standardize the Company’s branding on all outputs and consideration was being given on how to communicate the Paviors’ charity work in a more coherent and visual form. There was a need to engage better with social media, including the Paviors’ YouTube channel, which had very few viewings. Extracts from the new Social Media Policy were then read out.
Admissions Committee Chair: Melanie Hampton
The Chair posed questions about who the Company wanted to be its members, and how the Company could reach a wider audience more representative of the City. There was a need to invite senior members of the industry and supply chain.
Liverymen’s Committee Chair: James Atkins
The sponsors for the Lord Mayor’s Show were thanked, and it was noted that there was good publicity again from the BBC coverage. The Committee had organized fewer events in the past year, but some were now planned, including a visit to a brewery and a gin-distillery. New members were encouraged, noting that Committee-membership was a good way to find out about the workings of the Company. Paul Lowe would be taking over as Chair of the Committee in March.
The presentations were followed by questions from the floor.
The Pavior magazine
Should we discontinue sending out printed copies of The Pavior?
In response, it was considered that the majority of the membership still preferred a printed copy, but consideration should be given to allowing an opt-out to receive only a digital version.
Are there still a Paviors’ Day and a ‘cleaning day’ at Amberley Museum?
Unfortunately, these had been poorly supported and had been discontinued.
What are the current membership numbers?
This year the membership is 309, which has reduced from 317 last year. There are a good number of applicants in the pipeline, but it has proved difficult to encourage these to complete the membership process.
Construction Liveries Group
Are the CLG engaged with the London Construction Academy?
Most other companies have their own training/education schemes and, although they have been approached in connection with the Academy, so far none have wanted to get involved or to provide employment opportunities. It was noted that many Pavior companies now ‘managed’ rather than ‘built’ works, so have fewer opportunities to provide apprenticeships directly, other than through their supply chains. Public sector procurement in London required companies to demonstrate training achievements, so there was some scope for placing graduates from the Academy within these contracts. It was commented that what Paviors are doing through the Academy is very much greater than other CLG livery companies, and that Paviors also raised more charity money. There was a need to advertise this more, particularly as the Academy targeted vulnerable people in a way that other schemes did not. Ian Lumsden is now the Vice Chair of CLG. Opportunities should be taken to place articles in New Civil Engineer and other industry publications.
Luncheon Club and Wine Circle
The discussion session concluded with the Chairs of the Luncheon Club and Wine Circle talking about the future activities of these societies.
The opportunity was taken at this Common Hall to display a large number of items from the Paviors’ archives. The display was introduced by Ian Dussek and Martin Snaith, the Company’s Archivists, who also drew attendees attention to some specific items of interest. This was the first time in 20 years that there had been an extensive display of artefacts for the members.
The evening was concluded by the Master-elect, Hugh MacDougald, talking about plans for his year in office.