15 Oct 2019
by Sameer Shinh FCIArb
During 8 October – 10 October 2019, the West Midlands Branch of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators (CIArb) had a stand at the UK Construction Week event held at the National Exhibition Centre (NEC) in Birmingham. The stand was staffed by branch committee members Sameer Shinh, Maria Stevens and Keith Blizzard.
UK Construction Week is held every year and is the UK’s largest built environment event and brings to together hundreds of exhibitors involved in building, concrete, energy, civils, timber and materials involved in the construction industry.
The West Midlands Branch has many members involved in, or have an interest in the field of construction and construction dispute resolution. With the event happening in Birmingham that has a lot of construction activity going on at present, it was an ideal opportunity for the CIArb West Midlands committee to engage with construction industry professionals and students in construction related degree courses.
The aim of the Branch's involvement at the event was to highlight and promote the role the CIArb can do in helping to resolve disputes, and specifically promoting the activities that the West Midlands Branch has done in the past or is making preparations for the future. Many of the event delegates were engaged in conversation about the benefits of joining the CIArb with its vast array of events, publications and training courses in the field of dispute resolution.
With so many delegates at the event coming from the West Midlands area, the committee members explained to them that as a region, the committee wishes to see interest and opportunities in dispute resolution in the West Midlands area to grow and how the delegates can be a part of this growth by getting involved with the CIArb and the Branch itself.
Depending on the home location of the delegates who attended the event, where appropriate, they were directed to seek the other branches within the UK as a good point of contact for future events that they may be interested in that are closer to ‘home’.
The people who stopped by came from a wide range of professions, ages and backgrounds in the construction industry that included lawyers, representatives of other professional bodies, quantity surveyors, interior designers, contractors, mechanical engineers, civil engineers, health and safety professionals and students. Many delegates expressed interest in exploring the courses offered by the CIArb and attending future events.
With the availability of free student membership on offer, numerous students expressed keen interest in joining the Institute as a potential pathway to a future career focused on Dispute Resolution. We would hope one day to see these students of today, will become full members in due course and be the next generation of dispute resolvers.
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