Industry expertise meets experience at Network West 2022

by | Nov 10, 2022

The acute rise of supply materials cost and inflation the industry is experiencing is unprecedented. That’s just one of the insights gleaned from a review of the industry presented at Network West 2022, the CIF Western Region’s networking event hosted on October 13.

The event itself has a broad remit. Open to both members and non-members of the CIF, it also invites all professionals related to the built environment, not being limited to just those in construction.

As a result, the expertise found both on stage and within the audience is broad and expansive. “Put simply this is a ‘must go’ event for all business professionals in the Western Region,” says Justin Molloy, Director of CIF Western & Midland Region.

Among those in attendance were CIF President Frank Kelly, Director General Tom Parlon, COO Hubert Fitzpatrick and CIF Galway Branch Chair Tara Flynn.

Some of those who attended this year’s Network West

AECOM Director John O’Regan delivered an incisive annual review of the construction industry nationwide and of the Western Region specifically.

From 2016 to 2020 materials cost inflation never broke 10 per cent. By year’s end 2020, while the industry and the world began to re-engage following Covid-19 lockdowns, rough timber costs rocketed to a 70 per cent increase.

For reinforcing metal, the figure represents a nearly a 60 per cent increase. As each of these two materials begin to correct throughout this year the cost of structural steel has begun a rapid ascent nearing 60 per cent inflation.

This figure is only exacerbated by the Russian invasion of neighbouring Ukraine, a major global steel manufacturer.


Sharing knowledge

There are reasons to be cheerful though, not least because the event fosters an environment of good will and social networking, but so too is construction industry output on the rise even compared against a pre-Covid economy.

There is practical advice too, that companies might neglect to learn from at their own peril. Mairéad Connolly, PwC tax Partner, examined the tax compliance risks at work in the industry.

This includes unintended but costly tax consequences of self-employed contractors whose nature of work might better be described as regular employment, as well as common VAT pitfalls and risks.

Alan O’Grady, Western Postform Ltd was one of the event speakers

Meanwhile Florita Dolly, PwC Tax Director of the Galway Tax Team, described the increase focus from Revenue into specific areas of the construction industry, how to prepare for a Revenue intervention, and a review of the changes being brought in by the new Compliance Intervention Framework.

For Justin Molloy, Network West 2022 “represents an opportunity for the combined expertise across a broad range of professionals in the built environment industries to come together share expertise and network both professionally and informally in a comfortable environment.”

The first annual CIF Network West took place in 2019. Justin Molloy is Director for the Western and Midland Region covering Galway, Donegal, the North West and Midlands. For details of upcoming events contact 091 502680 or email [email protected] / [email protected]

Leadership viewpoint

Tara Flynn CIF Galway Branch Chair:

“We had such a strong showing of incredibly knowledgeable industry experts at Network West 2022, such that for my address I chose instead to speak to the theme of resilience within the industry, and in our wider lives.

“Our jobs are very trying, and each of us who work in this industry commit so much ourselves, our bodies and the hours of our days to ensuring quality work.

“This is why I think it’s important to speak to the resilience, not only of our industry, but for our own wellbeing. Coming out of Network West I think we have cause for cautious optimism.

“Yes, there are challenges, but we have a very positive outlook for the future in the industry both nationally and for the West.

“The event itself was very positive, and we saw figures indicating strong trends of growth in the sector with rising employment and signals of a strong industry looking forward in the future.”

Meet the speakers

  • Tara Flynn, Chairperson CIF Galway Branch: Opening address
  • Frank Kelly, CIF President: Update on the opportunities and challenges facing the industry
  • John O’Regan, Director AECOM Ireland: Trends and outlook for construction activity
  • Mairéad Connolly, Tax Partner PwC: Hot topics in construction, including the often unintended but costly tax consequences of self-employed contractors where the real nature of the relationship is closer to employment. Also, some common VAT pitfalls and RCT risks to be aware of
  • Florita Dolly, Tax Director PwC: The increase in Revenue activity in a post-Covid environment and tips on how to prepare for a Revenue intervention and the changes brought in by the new Compliance Intervention Framework
  • Alan O’Grady, Managing Director Western Postform Ltd: How Western Postforms promotes positive mental health and wellbeing in the workplace through its association with the I Am Here network
  • Tom Parlon, Director General CIF: Closing Address
  • Justin Molloy, Director West, Midland & Northern Region CIF: MC

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