The Specialist Engineering Contractors’ (SEC) Group Wales has accepted an invitation to come together with other industry bodies in membership of the Wales Construction Federation Alliance (WCFA).
Executive secretary Andrew Marchant confirmed that SEC Group Wales and the four existing members of the WCFA had signed a Memorandum of Understanding in which they undertake to promote effective communications and information flow across the industry – and with the Welsh Government – and to co-operate on matters of mutual interest.
These include in particular the development and introduction of a “licence to trade” scheme – similar to those which already operate in Australia, the US and several European countries – whereby companies would have to provide independent evidence of their competence before being allowed to tender for pubic sector construction contracts in Wales.
“It is envisaged that, in the engineering services sector, the ‘licence to trade’ arrangement would adopt the criteria laid down by existing industry competence schemes, rather than add further complexity to pre-qualification processes that are already in place,” Mr Marchant explained.
Other long-standing issues of concern to WCFA members include late payment, the continuing presence of retention clauses in construction contracts and the promotion of best procurement practice throughout the supply chain.
In addition to SEC Group Wales, membership of the WCFA comprises: the Civil Engineering Contractors’ Association (Wales); the Federation of Master Builders Wales; the Home Builders Federation; and NFB Cymru, a region of the National Federation of Builders.