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Chair of influential membership body aims to pave the way for children into construction 

  • Jonathan Payne FCIOB will step into the role of Chair of CIOB’s Northern Ireland Hub in July having first joined as a member in 2020. 
  • Jonathan wants to use his role to become a positive influence on young people across Northern Ireland and promote the construction industry as an exciting and prosperous career path. 
  • The new Hub Chair also urges the Northern Irish Assembly to be more aware of the positive influence the construction industry has on the economy. 

The new Chair of the Chartered Institute of Building (CIOB) Northern Ireland Hub has revealed his desire to lessen the skills gap within the industry by inspiring future generations towards a rewarding career in construction. 

Jonathan Payne FCIOB, who stepped up to the mantle in early July – replacing Roger Gillespie FCIOB – says young people across Northern Ireland are shoehorned into working in construction as a last resort. 

Recent research by CIOB – a global, influential body for construction management and leadership with nearly 1,500 members in its dedicated Northern Irish Hub, shows archaic perceptions about low pay and construction roles being “overly physical” mean many do not consider jobs in the industry.  

Data in CIOB’s Building Up Ireland – Professional insights from the construction sector in 2023’ report also highlights around 900 more people a year are needed in construction jobs in Northern Ireland to meet demand. 

Jonathan said: “My focus will be the image of construction to younger generations. I want to promote the construction industry as a career path for young people because I believe a lot of the time it is still considered to be a last resort.  

“It almost feels like if someone doesn’t fit into other boxes then they’re sent down the construction route. I want to use my tenure to promote construction as a brilliant profession with excellent rates of pay and great career prospects.

“That starts with working with both primary and secondary schools to get positive messages out there. We also need to educate the educators, and ensure that career departments within schools are aware of the diverse and rewarding opportunities that exist within the construction industry.” 

Jonathan, based in Magherafelt, boasts an illustrious career in the construction industry, spanning more than 30 years. He has a passion for helping companies within the construction sector to grow and develop and recently started a new venture by forming his own construction consultancy – Incrementum (Europe) Ltd. 

As well as working with young people across Northern Ireland, Jonathan wants construction companies across the country to work together and urge the Northern Ireland Assembly to better understand the vital role construction plays in boosting an economy. 

He continued: “I think a large part of the role will be influencing. We don’t have a sitting executive at the moment which makes things very challenging. All the construction organisations need to work very closely together to try and get messages out there. We have an awful lot of issues because of the political situation so it’s about trying to use our voice to do something good. 

“Ultimately, our Northern Ireland Assembly does not seem to be a big supporter of construction. They never seem to appreciate the impact the sector has on the economy and the great multiplier effect. We find that difficult.” 

Outside of work, Jonathan considers himself to be handy around the house and delves into various construction projects during his free time. That includes converting a garage into a design studio, building a small extension to his house, and even crafting a wood-fired pizza oven. 

To find out more about joining CIOB as a member, visit: 


Notes to editors  

Photo caption from left to right – Roger Gillespie, Jonathan Payne. 

For further information please contact Courtney Friday, CIOB Media Relations Officer. E: | T: 07552 538 788  

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