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Scottish Construction Leadership Forum releases recovery plan in consultation with industry

Scotland’s Construction Leadership Forum seeks feedback into newly launched industry recovery plan

A draft recovery plan for the construction sector in Scotland has been launched today by the Scottish Construction Leadership Forum (CLF). The plan, which has been created collaboratively with industry, sets out the pathway for joint action between industry and the public sector in response to the impact caused by the global pandemic on the on the construction sector.

The construction industry in Scotland has, like many others, been hit hard by the Covid-19 pandemic. The sector in Scotland which provided £7.8 billion GVA to the Scottish economy and employs 143,000 people in over 50,000 enterprises, is estimated to have contracted by 28.6 per cent in June as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic compared to the same month a year ago (June 2019).

The recovery plan has been created through extensive consultation and collaboration with more than 50 organisations across business, Scottish Government, trades unions and other bodies, including the Construction Industry Coronavirus (CICV) Forum, and represents a shared view from across the sector of a plan to get industry back on its feet.

The plan outlines the immediate and short-term response to Covid-19 and sets out a pathway between this and the longer-term transformation required to build a stronger, fairer and greener economic future for Scotland.

Peter Reekie, chief executive of the Scottish Futures Trust and chair of the editorial group of the Construction Leadership Forum, said: “The construction industry in Scotland has received a major blow from the Covid-19 pandemic. However, the level of collaboration which has gone in to preparing this Recovery Plan is unprecedented and sets a strong foundation for transformative recovery for the industry. I urge all stakeholders with an interest in the construction and related industries in Scotland to feed in your thoughts to make it even stronger.”

Ken Gillespie, chair of the Industry Leadership Group, said: “This plan has only been possible through the depth of collaboration across the sector, and hard work of all involved, and demonstrates the sector’s ability to come together in a time of crisis. This is only the beginning though. The plan will evolve and respond to reflect the feedback and the needs of the sector. We are therefore calling for industry to review and contribute to the plan.”

The plan identifies five areas for concerted and collaborative efforts over the coming months and has established Sub-Groups to develop and progress joint action plans:

  1. Pipeline & Commercials
  2. Skills & Workforce
  3. Transformation
  4. Supply Chain Resilience & Capability
  5. Industry Data & Insight

The plan calls for key actions to respond to immediate needs which include:
• A clear pipeline of work brought to market quickly and efficiently on fair commercial terms which reflect the reality of the Covid-19 environment.
• Support of employment, fairness of work and those who may become unemployed through what will be a difficult period.
• Transformation of working practices to maintain and enhance worker safety whilst enabling productivity in the Covid-19 working environment.

Housing Minister Kevin Stewart said: “The construction sector supports many other areas of our economy so it is important that we maintain the health and vitality of the industry. In order to develop this plan we have reached new heights of collaboration but we are now keen to hear from the wider industry to ensure that we arrive at a plan that will preserve jobs and help to revive our economy.”

The Scottish Construction Leadership Forum (CLF), which has led the development of the plan, is a collaborative initiative of Construction Scotland and the Scottish Government . It was established in March 2019. Chaired by Housing Minister Kevin Stewart for the duration of the crisis, it widened its membership in response to Covid-19 and has already developed and implemented plans to get the industry safely back to work to develop and implement an action plan of improvement initiatives aligned with Government policies and the Construction Scotland Industry Strategy. Several streams of work are ongoing and prior to Covid-19, the Forum was at the early stages of considering a wider agenda for change across the industry.

The CLF shared vision is of an industry that promotes a safe, productive, profitable, digitally-enabled, low-carbon, and socially responsible construction industry which offers quality jobs and fair work to a highly skilled and diverse workforce and a quality and life-time value product to its customers.

The recovery plan is available to view on https://www.constructionforum.scot/. Industry is invited to provide feedback to the plan via the website by 15 September on enquiries@constructionforum.scot. CLF will take all feedback on board to help develop the plan further, with regular updates published on the CLF website. To be notified of updates and general work of the CLF sign up here.