Forum consultation extended to whole construction industry

The CICV Forum has extended its wide-ranging consultation on the future of the sector to the whole Scottish construction industry.

Originally launched last week among the Forum’s 50 member organisations, all other parties are now invited to give their opinion on what they want for the industry after COVID-19 – and how it might be achieved.

Forum chair and SELECT Managing Director Alan Wilson, said: “We appreciate that not everyone in the construction sector is represented by the Forum – our major housebuilders for example – and we are anxious that all parties within our industry contribute to the national debate on where we go next.”

With companies beginning a phased return to work, the wide-ranging questionnaire addresses multiple issues which have not gone away during the pandemic and suggests that the sector cannot realistically go back to the way it was.

Led by Consultant Len Bunton, the consultation was compiled with the input of four leading quantity surveying firms, as well as Ian Honeyman, Commercial Director of the Scottish Building Federation, and Ken Lewandowski, former local chairman of Clydesdale Bank.

Mr Bunton said that, for everyone involved in construction, the ultimate objective for the post-pandemic future must be an industry which is not only fair and transparent but allows contractors and the supply chain to operate profitable businesses.

He said: “The questions in the consultation will be put not only to the many trade and professional bodies in the Forum, as well as their members, but to all parties engaged in the sector. We are seeking the broadest possible body of opinion to help form policy in the coming months and years.

“We want to look at the endemic problems of low tendering, low or no margins and the lack of regard for competency and experience. Serious cashflow and payment issues, poor quality and health and safety problems are also consistent concerns for the industry.

“We also need to hear from public and private sector clients who are the lifeblood of the industry, as their investment creates employment for the construction sector in Scotland.”

Mr Bunton added: “The consultation makes the point that the CICV Forum, which was quickly and efficiently assembled to deal with the ongoing effects of the shutdown, has demonstrated the desirability of disparate parties coming together to work for the mutual benefit of the sector.”

The consultation is the latest in a series of initiatives from the Forum, which has been at the forefront of information dissemination to the sector throughout the COVID-19 crisis, and which has become for many enterprises the first port of call for clarity of advice.

In the last two weeks alone it has released health and safety underpinning guidance, furloughing information for employers, a consultation about the future of the industry in Scotland and vital advice for apprentices and staff preparing to return to college.

  • A copy of the consultation can be obtained by emailing info@cicvforum.co.uk. Closing date for submissions is 19 June.

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