Dana Skelley

Director of Asset Management, Transport for London (TfL)

‘Industry parners should go into schools to show the value of the work we do’

TfL is responsible for the day-to-day to operation of the capital’s public transport network, managing London’s main roads and planning and building new and improved infrastructure. Every day around 24 million journeys are made across their network.

How do you see the construction industry in ten years’ time?

‘My vision is that early involvement will help the industry to make the change. It will lead to much more collaboration. Better planning and front-end optioneering will encourage clients and contractors to engage for the benefit of our customers. Clients need to change as well to enable the industry to change. Also in years’ time we will see more women in construction and the demographics of the industry should start to change for the better.’

In what phase of the value chain do you believe BAM delivers the greatest added value?

‘Long term relationships are important rather than having the industry in a constant state of retendering. There is also a sound business case for early contractor involvement with suppliers such as BAM. TfL is committed to build infrastructure that improves our cities and improves life for people in our cities.’

How can BAM win over partners in the value chain to achieve an even more sustainable approach?

‘It is a question of treating your supply chain partners as real partners instead of unimportant add-ons and helping them to understand what the client’s overarching requirements are and what they value.’

In what respect can partners contribute to a more sustainable approach?

‘This is one of the areas I’m working with together with BAM by forming partnerships to develop our young engineers and apprentices get a breadth of experience by sharing them through our organisations. The other thing I’m very keen on is working with our partners to encourage more women to join our industry. This year marks the centennial anniversary of the First World War and a significant moment in the history of transport, when 100,000 women entered our industry to take on the responsibilities held by large numbers of men who enlisted for military service. TfL and its industry partners will use this opportunity, through the 100 Years of Women in Transport programme to celebrate the significant role that women have played in transport over the past 100 years. We will also reflect on the diversity of the current transport workforce and identify opportunities to enhance it through a variety of initiatives and activities. Ultimately this is about strengthening our industry so that it reflects London’s demographics.

We find that many people in schools, like career advisors and teachers, have no idea of what our industry has to offer. So one of the things that we can do in partnership is to go into schools, talk to teachers and pupils and equip them with ways of understanding the value of the work we do.’