Last edited 21 Nov 2016

Construction Leadership Council CLC

The Construction Leadership Council (CLC) was established in 2013 to oversee implementation of Construction 2025: industrial strategy for construction. It is an industry / government council jointly chaired by the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) and an industry representative.

Announced by Business Minister Michael Fallon at the Government Construction Summit on 2 July 2013, Construction 2025 was described as "A long-term partnership between government and the construction industry to get Britain building and winning contracts overseas...." Construction 2025 sets out 10 joint commitments, including reducing growth barriers for businesses, particularly small and medium-sized firms (SMEs) and sole traders.

It also sets exceptionally ambitious targets:

  • A 33% reduction in both the initial cost of construction and the whole life cost of assets.
  • A 50% reduction in the overall time from inception to completion for new build and refurbished assets.
  • A 50% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions in the built environment.
  • A 50% reduction in the trade gap between total exports and total imports for construction products and materials.

The then Business Secretary Vince Cable said “We cannot make these changes alone, all of this has been designed by working closely with the industry. I look forward to working even more closely with business through the new Construction Leadership Council.”

The then co-chair of the CLC, Sir David Higgins said ”This strategy's publication is just the first step in putting UK construction at the forefront of the global market - strong leadership will be vital in driving lasting change. The Construction Leadership Council will provide a forum for industry and government to work together in pursuit of our ambitions.”

The role of the council is to identify and deliver priority actions to help achieve the joint industry and government ambitions between now and 2025.

However, it is not entirely clear what the relationship is between the Government Construction Strategy and Construction 2025, or between the Government Construction Board (which oversees the Government Construction Strategy) and the CLC.

On 16 July 2015, Skills Minister at the Department for Business, Innovation & Skills (BIS) and Co-Chair of the Construction Leadership Council (CLC) Nick Boles MP announced that the CLC would be restructured. Ref Gov.uk. The announcement came during a period of concern for the future of the CLC after a meeting was cancelled in June 2015 and then a subsequent meeting of the delivery group was also cancelled.

The restructuring of the CLC involved reducing the number of members from 30 to just 12. It was suggested that this was done in response to calls from the industry to make the council more effective and business-focussed. The new members were considered to have sufficient seniority, business skills and range of perspectives to be able to give effective leadership to the industry. It was suggested that the Council should meet with ministers 4 times a year to advise and update them on efforts to drive improved productivity and growth.

Specific work streams were also created to deliver improvements to working practices:

In addition, the role of Chief Construction Adviser was scrapped in November 2015 when the tenure of Peter Hansford ended.

For more information see Restructuring the Construction Leadership Council.

However, in September 2015, following concern expressed by the industry that the new structure of the CLC did not give proper representation to the supply chain, the full list of members was announced, and included a representative of the Strategic Forum for Construction and a representative from Saint-Gobain.

In October 2015, Andrew Wolstenholme took over from David Higgins as co-chair of the CLC. Wolstenholme said: “The council will continue to build upon what has already been achieved under David’s chairmanship and will focus on leading the construction industry to be more productive, innovative, skilled and internationally exportable. Construction can be the next great British success story, on a par with the automotive and aerospace sectors, with the council, government and industry working together at the forefront of this effort.”

In November 2016, Wolstenholme proposed streamlining the activities of the CLC to make it more effective, focusing on:

  • Delivering better, more certain outcomes through digital, BIM-enabled working.
  • Improving productivity, quality and safety through offsite manufacturing.
  • Whole-life performance through the use of smart technologies.

NB the Green Construction Board describes itself as the sustainability workstream of the Construction Leadership Council and its role is to: '...provide leadership and action to enable the whole value chain (clients, contractors, product manufacturers, suppliers and others) to become more environmentally sustainable, more productive and better placed to exploit the growing global market.'

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