James Wates, deputy chairman of the Wates Group has been elected as the 108th President of the Chartered Institute of Building (CIOB).
Taking up the mantle in Shanghai at the CIOB’s first AGM to be held overseas James said, "It is a huge honour and I am very proud to be taking it on. It’s been commented before that I wear many hats in the industry. That has obvious benefits and allows me to pull together a variety of organisations and make construction, and all its constituent parts, a bit more joined up. Becoming President of the CIOB strengthens those relationships in all directions.
"My message as CIOB President will come as no surprise to many people. I am interested in the future, and the people that will take us there. Everything we have achieved as an industry is a result of the people who make it happen. That will always be the case. New technology and a new way of doing things will of course emerge. But people are the source of these ideas and we need to invest in them and improve our inclusivity.
"At the same time it is important we collectively promote the value of our industry in terms of economy, society and the role we can play in providing solutions to climate change. There is a need to speak with a clearer voice and we should all work closer together to achieve that."
James Wates has been a builder all his life having started site visits with his father in the family business at the age of four. He first worked on site during school holidays as a 15 year old and after reading Estate Management at the University of Westminster (previously Polytechnic of Central London) from 1979 to 1983, he joined the family business as a management trainee in October 1983 working on the construction side of the business. In 1997 he joined the main Wates Board and was appointed deputy chairman of the Group in 2007.
He is also chairman of the UK Contractors Group and a vice chairman of the CBI Construction Council. Earlier this year James was appointed chairman of CITB-ConstructionSkills, taking over from Sir Michael Latham.