Transforming the Construction sector in Scotland

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  Posted by: electime      5th July 2022

Building on the significant achievements of its Recovery Plan, industry collaboration body the Construction Leadership Forum (CLF) is now turning its focus towards a comprehensive and durable transformation of the sector for the benefit of all its stakeholders.

While continuing close relationships between the industry, the Scottish Government and a wide range of other agencies, the next phase will establish a transformation plan for the sector which will secure its future as the economy transitions to Net Zero.

The CLF was established in March 2019 and has developed and implemented the Recovery Plan of actions aligned with Government policies and the Construction Scotland Industry Strategy.

Its achievements include:

  • The pipeline forecast tool giving visibility of £11bn of future public sector projects developed by the Scottish Futures Trust;
  • The data dashboard for better-informed business decisions and impact insights;
  • The digital funding guides and a new skills directory – all developed by BE-ST;
  • Work to improve key areas such as procurement, quality, skills, manufacturing and diversity and inclusion.

Valued partners from Construction Scotland and CICV have ensured all working groups having made good progress on delivery. Accepting that whilst market conditions remain challenging, recovery from COVID is well underway, the CLF is now turning its attention to transformation.

The first step in that process, the Construction Accord an agreement between the public sector and the construction industry, as recommended by the Infrastructure Commission for Scotland (ICS) is underway with a detailed Transformation plan to follow.

CLF is keen to involve the whole sector and interested stakeholders in developing the Accord. A draft of the Accord and details on how to provide feedback are now available on the CLF website until 29th July – comments and insights are welcome.

The Construction Accord aims to strengthen collaboration between the public and construction sectors to deliver improved outcomes for and from the industry whilst meeting the evolving infrastructure needs of Scotland as a country.

Business Minister Ivan McKee said: “The Construction Leadership Forum took on the challenge of supporting recovery of the industry at a time when the outlook was unpredictable and what it has achieved over the past two years is quite remarkable.

“Through collaboration with the sector, the Scottish Government has led in building strong foundations for industry transformation and strengthening resilience in what is a key commercial activity for the country in creating a sustainable economy.

“This Accord will help accelerate progress towards meeting net zero targets in construction. I look forward to working more closely with the CLF in creating a more sustainable, productive, innovative and diverse industry.”

Peter Reekie, Chief Executive of the Scottish Futures Trust and chair of the executive group of the CLF, said: “The CLF set itself tough targets and has achieved unprecedented results. Sincere thanks are due to the organisations and individuals who went above and beyond the call of duty to participate in a remarkable collaborative effort which has proved once and for all that we are better when we are working together.

“As we transform the industry, even greater opportunities will arise. There is crucial work to be done and we ask that all stakeholders in the future of the industry engage positively with the Scottish Construction Accord. Please get involved, have your say and make a contribution. We need a diverse range of voices and you will be warmly welcomed.”

Ron Fraser, chair of Construction Scotland Industry Leadership Group, said: “The CLF was originally set up as a vehicle for dialogue between industry and government on the key issues impacting on the construction sector in Scotland. It proved its worth during Covid, when many in industry, government and the public sector collaborated, first on the production of Site Operating Guidance and a Re-start Plan to get the sector back to work, and then on a Recovery Plan to assist a return to “normal”.

“As we move into the “Transformation” phase, representatives of all parts of the sector should be encouraged to comment on the aims, objectives and outcomes envisaged for the proposed Accord and to participate fully in the dialogue and action process that will lead to a more profitable future.”