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2020 / 2021 Edition

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New-look Construction Leadership Council

Dr Diana Montgomery

Construction Products Association disappointed that manufacturing and distribution not represented

THE Government has welcomed the joining of business leaders and ministers on the renewed Construction Leadership Council. The council was created in 2013 to work between industry and government to identify and deliver actions to improve efficiency, skills and growth in UK construction.

Skills Minister Nick Boles, who co-chairs the council, said: ‘The construction industry recently saw its 24th month of consecutive year-on-year growth, and is key to our plan for increasing Britain’s productivity and prosperity.

‘We will work closely with the newly focused Construction Leadership Council, with its top business expertise, to deliver that plan and drive growth for the sector and wider economy.’

The new membership of the council sees a reduction from its previous 30 members down to 12, in response to calls from the sector to make it more effective and business-focused. Members have been drawn from leading construction firms such as Laing O’Rourke and Bouygues UK.

The council’s industry co-chair, David Higgins, said: ‘I’m delighted the Government has responded to calls for a smaller, more business-focused Construction Leadership Council. The new council of 12, with its business leaders from across the sector, will be best placed to drive the skills, innovation and productivity outcomes to help the industry build on its recent growth.’

However, Mr Higgins’s delight was not shared by all within the sector. The Construction Products Association (CPA) said it was disappointing that the new council would no longer represent the whole construction supply chain, as it does not have an industry leader from construction product manufacturing or distribution.

The CPA argues that the manufacturing and distribution sector, which is worth over £47 billion and directly provides 300,000 jobs, is vital to the delivery of the Government’s plans to improve UK productivity.

It says future investment in manufacturing capacity, skills and haulage will be key to increasing productivity, whilst ensuring the anticipated growth within the sector can be achieved in the long term.

Dr Diana Montgomery (pictured), chief executive of the CPA, said: ‘If government is serious about speaking to industry about tackling the most important issues in construction, particularly productivity, then it needs to ensure that the whole construction supply chain is an important part of strategic discussions and decision-making.

‘Construction product manufacturing and distribution account for more than one-third of construction activity, so it is remiss not to include an industry leader from this part of construction on the Construction Leadership Council.’

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