The Scaffolding Association welcomes the CBI’s New Foundations report which aims to help the construction industry and the UK to build back better.

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Press Release

Published: October 15, 2021

 The New Foundations report, which was published by the CBI earlier this week, on behalf of their construction members and the wider industry, looks at how the construction landscape has been altered by the pandemic, new political priorities, and policy developments and most notably the launch of the government’s Construction Playbook.

The report suggests that all of these have a part to play to address well-known and longstanding issues with procurement, building on an earlier report from the CBI – Fine Margins.

The latest report highlights the importance of procurement and contracting in creating a more stable and secure operating environment for an industry with a key role to play in bringing the UK’s ‘build back better’ ambitions to life.

It contains several recommendations for action which hope to see the adoption of the Construction Playbook accelerated across both the public and private sector. They include:

  • Enhancing the Cabinet Office’s ability to identify and act on businesses’ reports of poor procurement practices.
  • Using the upcoming Comprehensive Spending Review to ensure rapid rollout of public sector construction training materials and delivery.
  • Driving forward exemplar works under Project Speed to demonstrate how Playbook guidance can shape successful end-to-end construction projects.
  • Requiring public sector contracting authorities to commit to working alongside suppliers to manage risks more equitably.
  • Establishing a client leadership group to support the adoption of Playbook behaviours throughout the private sector.
  • Setting out a Playbook delivery plan at local authority level, including guidance on how rules should dovetail with devolved procurement policies.

The paper sets out two immediate strategic priorities which are for the government to accelerate the adoption of the Construction Playbook across the public sector, including effective enforcement of its use and for private sector construction clients and the full breadth of the private sector to engage with the ambition to transform procurement behaviours. 

The paper also calls on the private sector – starting with investors and clients, but encompassing contractors, consultants and supply chain specialists – to review approaches to procurement and project delivery and embrace a spirit of co-investment in securing truly valuable and beneficial outcomes from construction schemes.

Robert Candy, Chief Executive of the Scaffolding Association commented “Any initiative that aims to accelerate reform where it is needed within the construction sector is welcome. There are far too many examples in the construction industry where bad practice and unfair arrangements are being ignored or deliberately overlooked and this culture must end”.

Notes for editors

The Scaffolding Association is the UK’s largest dedicated trade association representing the Scaffolding and Access industry.

The construction sector employs 2.7millon people, contributes over £100bn to the UK economy which is 7% of Gross Domestic Product (GDP).

Press Contact: Chris Seaton – [email protected] or 07979 531464