Industry urged to have its say on construction recovery plan

The Scottish construction industry has been urged to have its say in the new draft recovery plan for the sector, recently launched by the Scottish Construction Leadership Forum (CLF).

The plan, which has been created collaboratively with the industry, sets out the pathway for joint action in response to the impact of COVID-19 on the construction sector.

The CLF is now appealing for feedback on its draft plan, with small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) particularly encouraged to make their voices heard before submissions close on 15 September.

Peter Reekie, chief executive of the Scottish Futures Trust and chair of the editorial group of the CLF, said: “This plan is designed to be a living, breathing document that grows and develops in response to industry input, so we would urge everyone to have their say in its evolution.

“The response so far has been extremely encouraging, but we would welcome more input to enable us to build a rounded picture of the sector and its requirements going forward.”

Peter added: “This is a unique opportunity for everyone involved in the Scottish construction sector to join the conversation and shape our future in a post-COVID world.

“We are particularly keen to hear from SMEs and their experiences and expectations for the long road ahead. Therefore, I would urge all stakeholders with an interest in the construction and related industries in Scotland to feed in their thoughts to make the recovery plan even stronger.”

Launched on 28 August, the plan was created after extensive consultation with more than 50 organisations across business, Scottish government, trades unions and other bodies, including the Construction Industry Coronavirus (CICV) Forum.

Representing a shared sector view of how to get the industry back on its feet, it outlines the immediate and short-term response to COVID-19, setting out a pathway to the longer-term transformation required to build a stronger, fairer and greener economic future for Scotland.

Identifying five areas for concerted efforts, with associated sub-groups for each, the plan calls for key actions to respond to immediate needs, including: 

  • 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.

Like many other areas, the construction industry in Scotland has been hit hard by COVID-19 and is estimated to have contracted by 28.6% in June, compared to the same month a year ago. 

The recovery plan is available to view here. The industry is invited to send feedback, comments and questions via enquiries@constructionforum.scot by 15 September. CLF will take all feedback on board to help develop the plan further, with regular updates published on the CLF site.