The Specialist Engineering Contractors’ (SEC) Group – representing the largest sector in the UK construction industry (by value) – is calling on the Government and industry to focus in 2018 on the following: procurement; payment; and professionalism.
SEC Group’s CEO, Professor Rudi Klein, explained that the industry’s only route to long-term improvements in growth and productivity lay in addressing the above “3 Ps”.
Procurement: In spite of countless reports and initiatives the industry’s procurement and delivery processes remain as adversarial, and non-collaborative as ever with billions of pounds lost through process waste such as needless re-work.
SEC Group will be calling on public and private sector construction procurers to submit new projects for piloting alliancing arrangements underwritten by integrated project insurance with the aim of achieving up to 20% savings.
Payment: The construction industry is experiencing a financial crisis with large construction companies in financial distress and payments to SMEs taking longer and longer.
SEC Group will be inviting both public and private sector clients to use project bank accounts to quicken the flow of cash to the supply chain. SEC Group is also promoting a Private Member’s Bill in the House of Commons to protect cash retentions.
Professionalism: Two reports in 2017 have expressed grave concern over the lack of competence and falling standards in the construction industry. These were the Report of the Independent Inquiry into the Construction of Edinburgh Schools and Dame Judith Hackett’s interim report on the Review of the Building Regulations.
SEC Group will be calling on the Government to give consideration to a statutory regime for corporate competence similar to construction licensing schemes in the US and Australia. A licensing scheme – based upon current trade association schemes – will help to professionalise the industry.
Professor Klein added: “We are in desperate need of a new and re-vitalised impetus to help make the industry leaner and fitter to meet many challenges ahead especially investment in digital and manufacturing technologies.”