Home » Minister sees vision for Scottish construction’s future

Minister sees vision for Scottish construction’s future

by Mark Cantrell
Scotland's Construction Leadership Forum has unveiled its action plan intended to transform the nation's construction sector, with the uptake of digital technology a major part of its vision.

Scotland’s Construction Leadership Forum (CLF) has unveiled its action plan intended to transform the nation’s construction sector, with the uptake of digital technology a major part of its vision.

The plan includes reforming construction procurement, improving quality, moving towards net zero and fair work, increasing the uptake of digital technology, and collating and using meaningful data. It also outlines proposals to engage with and communicate more effectively with the sector.

Speaking at the plan’s launch at Edinburgh Napier University, Richard Lochhead, the Scottish government’s minister for small business, innovation, tourism and trade, said: “The construction sector is vital to green, economic growth across Scotland and central to our net zero ambitions.

“This Transformation Action Plan will drive progress in important areas such as fair work and procurement, delivering the sustainable, innovative and prosperous industry Scotland needs.

“I am grateful to all the businesses and public sector organisations which developed this plan for the benefit and future of the construction sector.”

Peter Reekie, chief executive of the Scottish Futures Trust, and co-chair of the Transformation Action Plan Board, said: “As a proud civil engineer in a role that gives me sight across the whole construction sector, I know how important the industry is to Scotland’s economy, to our country achieving net zero and what a great career it can provide.

“For the sector to deliver more, with improved outcomes for businesses, its workforce, its clients and wider society, it must change. And every part of the industry must be involved in that change, feeling the benefits from it. That is why the Transformation Action Plan is a collaborative effort, bringing passionate people from across the sector together to work for our collective good.

“There is much to be done, but we can only change with that collective effort and broad engagement in our aims, our work and what we achieve. I urge everyone involved in the construction sector across both the public and private sectors to get involved – in a working group, or by spreading the word to help create the industry we want to see.”

In November last year, the CLF – a collaboration between government and industry – invited voices from across the industry and public sector to have their say on a draft version of the plan via a sector-wide consultation.

The feedback helped inform this first iteration of the plan, which outlines the areas where transformation is needed most.

The plan will now becomes live programme, the CLF says, made up of 11 key initiatives, each led by a working group: Procurement, Pipeline, Skills, Fair Work, Quality, Digital, Modern Methods of Construction, Net Zero, Supply Chain, Data and Insights and Communications.

Each working group is co-chaired by a representative from both the public and private sectors, with the overarching programme managed by the Transformation Action Plan Board.

The plan aims to deliver the commitments at the heart of the CLF’s Scottish Construction Accord, which was launched in October 2022 as a “shared vision” between the industry and the public sector to create a “thriving and high-performing” construction sector.

Morag Angus, head of property and construction, and chief surveyor at the Scottish government, as well as co-chair of the Transformation Action Plan Board, said: “We have listened closely to voices from across the public and private sectors to ensure our Plan accurately reflects the needs of our whole industry.

“Our sector has always embraced the fact that change is essential. We know we must constantly evolve and improve how we work, and this plan lays firm foundations for the next wave of transformation our sector needs.

“Construction is a lynchpin in Scotland’s economy and is at the forefront of our journey to net zero, which is reflected in the ambitious goals that we have set out.”

Alan Wilson, chair of the Construction Industry Collective Voice (CICV), added: “Collaboration, co-operation and commitment are the three principles we at CICV have always aspired to follow and the Transformation Action Plan is a great opportunity for the industry to embed these into the key actions the plan covers and move the whole sector forward dynamically.”

Main image: Scottish government minister Richard Lochhead tries on a VR headset for the construction industry


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