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Specialists' group urges focus on Procurement, Payment and Professionalism

The Specialist Engineering Contractors’ (SEC) Group  is calling on the Government and industry to focus on ‘Three Ps’ in 2018


SEC Group, which represent the largest construction industry sector by value, says only by addressing the triple priorities can long-term improvements in growth and productivity be gained.

Procurement: The Group’s chief executive, Professor Rudi Klein said he will be calling on construction procurers to submit new projects for piloting alliancing arrangements, underwritten by integrated project insurance, with the aim of achieving up to 20 per cent savings. He said: ”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.”

Payment: Prof Klein said: ”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.” The Group is also promoting a Private Member’s Bill in the House of Commons to protect cash retentions. 

Professionalism: The Group noted that two separate reports - the Independent Inquiry into the Construction of Edinburgh Schools and the interim report on the Review of the Building Regulations - have both expressed grave concern over the lack of competence and falling standards in the construction industry.  Prof Klein said the 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, he said.

Prof 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.”

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