Former Kier MD joins Thermal Road Repairs

Former Kier Highways managing director Dave Wright has joined Thermal Road Repairs as an executive adviser.

Winner of Highways magazine's first Lifetime Achievement Award in 2019, Mr Wright also received the Chartered Institution of Highways and Transportation’s Inspirational Leadership Award in 2018.

In a statement announcing his appointment, Mr Wright argued that change was needed by national and local highways authorities to help them tackle the challenge of reducing carbon emissions.

Mr Wright said: 'We are going to have to do things differently. That means looking at standards, changing the way we procure, design and construct things.

'All new and existing maintenance contracts will have to have carbon reduction plans built into them. Technologies like Thermal Road Repairs’ will fit into that.'

He added: 'There’s a recognition among highways clients and organisations that they need to get a better understanding of what the Tier 2 and Tier 3 suppliers are doing.

'They are changing the way they deal with Tier 1s in order to make access to the lower tiers easier.'

Mr Wright also identified the highway maintenance industry’s ageing demographic as an issue that needs a new focus, arguing that there is a huge untapped resource among the 25% of 16-to-24-year-old not in education, employment or training.

While at Kier, Mr Wright led a push to work with OnSide Youth Zones through events and challenges to provide pathways and careers for underprivileged young people.

With the announcement coinciding with National Apprenticeship Week, Mr Wright said: 'If you give young people a chance, the majority of them will rise to the challenge. Everybody deserves a chance – the postcode where you are born should not be a barrier to opportunity.'

He added that bringing in people from a diversity of backgrounds and education creates new dynamics.

In 2017, Mr Wright was awarded the Collaborative Leader Award by the Institution for Collaborative Working, an achievement he followed up by establishing the Collaborative Learning Circle, which brought highways sector suppliers together to share information and views, improve safety and create social value and proved a major vehicle for the industry's work with youth training.

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