Following the announcement of the Department for Business, Innovation & Skills (BIS) restructuring of the Construction Leadership Council (CLC), the scrapping of the Council's Delivery Group, and the abolition of the role of Government’s Chief Construction Advisor (CCA), BSRIA Chief Executive, Julia Evans, has given her reaction.
“BSRIA is concerned about the impact on the industry. We are especially disappointed at the CIC’s decision to move away from representative bodies, which we feel is the best arrangement in such a diverse and huge industry. The government has often asked for industry to speak with a single voice but it appears itself now to be working against that objective. The CLC – as now constituted – is effectively just one more body, not a unification of the various sector organisations.
'The loss of the Chief Construction Adviser role at this crucial time will leave a significant gap in terms of drawing together the skills of the sector. The industry needs to look at how the work streams announced will be coordinated to avoid silos developing in the new approach. It is, therefore, vital that the work of the new CLC is informed by the whole of the industry and that the professional services sector has strong representation.
'The united industry worked hard to establish a single point of contact through the Chief Construction Adviser and has ensured that two good people have filled the post effectively over the past six years. The role is still required.
'BSRIA is disillusioned that BIS Ministers and officials have placed the future emphasis on dialogue with industry, rather than working in partnership, which was the strapline to the Industrial Strategy (Construction 2025).
'We are also disappointed at the lack of dialogue and consultation with industry in arriving at these decisions; this announcement seems to come without meaningful consultation with industry about the proposals.
'The construction industry is an important part of the UK economy (6% and growing), and it faces a number of challenges – yesterday’s shake-up does little to support these crucial issues and, in fact, raises more questions than answers.
'How will these changes address: the acute labour shortage and attracting those with the right skills into the industry; the construction industry being at the vanguard of addressing energy consumption in both new and existing buildings; government wanting to position the UK as a global leader in the construction industry.
'If Government doesn’t provide clear direction for industry how does it expect us to move forward? BSRIA is calling on government to outline the role of the construction industry.”
A new smaller CLC will be established comprising individuals rather than leaders of the main representative bodies, although the Strategic Forum for Construction has been offered one seat on the new committee.
The new membership of the CLC is reduced from 30 to 12 members.