Scottish CLF turns attention to ‘transformation’ of construction sector


THE Scottish Construction Leadership Forum (CLF) has announced it is turning its focus towards a ‘comprehensive and durable transformation’ of the sector for the benefit of all stakeholders,

The body revealed it will establish a transformation plan to secure the industry’s future as the economy transitions to net zero.

The CLF was established in March 2019 and has developed and implemented the Recovery Plan of actions aligned with government policies and the Construction Scotland Industry Strategy.

To date, its achievements include:

  • The pipeline forecast tool giving visibility of £11 billion of future public sector projects developed by the Scottish Futures Trust;
  • The data dashboard for better-informed business decisions and impact insights;
  • The digital funding guides and a new skills directory – all developed by BE-ST;
  • Work to improve key areas such as procurement, quality, skills, manufacturing and diversity and inclusion.

Accepting that whilst market conditions remain ‘challenging’, recovery from the pandemic is well underway, allowing the CLF to turn its attention to transformation.

The first step in that process, the Construction Accord – an agreement between the public sector and the construction industry, as recommended by the Infrastructure Commission for Scotland (ICS) – is underway with a detailed transformation plan to follow.

CLF added it is keen to involve the whole sector and interested stakeholders in developing the Accord. A draft of the Accord and details on how to provide feedback are now available on the CLF website until July 29.

Business minister Ivan McKee said, “The Construction Leadership Forum took on the challenge of supporting recovery of the industry at a time when the outlook was unpredictable and what it has achieved over the past two years is quite remarkable.

“Through collaboration with the sector, the Scottish Government has led in building strong foundations for industry transformation and strengthening resilience in what is a key commercial activity for the country in creating a sustainable economy.

“This Accord will help accelerate progress towards meeting net zero targets in construction. I look forward to working more closely with the CLF in creating a more sustainable, productive, innovative and diverse industry.”

Peter Reekie, chief executive of the Scottish Futures Trust and chair of the executive group of the CLF, added, “The CLF set itself tough targets and has achieved unprecedented results. Sincere thanks are due to the organisations and individuals who went above and beyond the call of duty to participate in a remarkable collaborative effort which has proved once and for all that we are better when we are working together.

“As we transform the industry, even greater opportunities will arise. There is crucial work to be done and we ask that all stakeholders in the future of the industry engage positively with the Scottish Construction Accord. Please get involved, have your say and make a contribution. We need a diverse range of voices and you will be warmly welcomed.”

Ron Fraser, chair of Construction Scotland Industry Leadership Group, commented, “The CLF was originally set up as a vehicle for dialogue between industry and government on the key issues impacting on the construction sector in Scotland. It proved its worth during Covid, when many in industry, government and the public sector collaborated, first on the production of Site Operating Guidance and a Re-start Plan to get the sector back to work, and then on a Recovery Plan to assist a return to “normal”.

“As we move into the ‘transformation’ phase, representatives of all parts of the sector should be encouraged to comment on the aims, objectives and outcomes envisaged for the proposed Accord and to participate fully in the dialogue and action process that will lead to a more profitable future.”