To support members, the FMB works hard at speaking out on your behalf to policy makers and key stakeholders around the UK. One of our five key strategic objectives with our strategic plan: Building for Success is Voice. This is about ensuring our voice is effective and widespread within government, industry and the media.
At times this means that we collaborate with government and other construction industry representative groups. On 24 January at a special ceremony in Edinburgh, the Transformation Action Plan was launched and I believe it offers a unique opportunity to move the whole sector forward and improve matters for FMB members.
The plan includes aspirations for reforming procurement, improving construction quality, moving towards net zero and fair work, increasing the uptake of digital technology and collating and using meaningful data. It also outlines proposals for policy makers to engage with and communicate more effectively with the sector.
The FMB were among those who contributed to the development of the new plan, which aims to deliver the commitments at the heart of the Construction Leadership Forum’s (CLF) Scottish Construction Accord, launched in October 2022. The CLF was established in 2019 as is chaired by the Minister for Small Business, Innovation, Tourism and Trade.
Launch event at Napier University
The plan was launched after the CLF invited voices from across the industry and public sector to have their say via a sector-wide consultation in the autumn of 2023. The feedback from FMB members helped me to feed in the FMB’s views on where change across and within the industry is needed most.
The plan is a dynamic and live programme made up of 11 key initiatives, each led by a working group, these are: Procurement, Pipeline, Skills, Fair Work, Quality, Digital, Modern Methods of Construction, Net Zero, Supply Chain, Data and Insights and Communications.
Each working group is co-chaired by a representative from both the public and private sectors, with the overarching programme managed by the Transformation Action Plan Board.
Speaking at the Plan’s launch at Edinburgh Napier University on Wednesday 24 January, Richard Lochhead, Minister for Small Business, Innovation, Tourism and Trade, said: “The construction sector is vital to green, economic growth across Scotland and central to our net zero ambitions.
'This Transformation Action Plan will drive progress in important areas such as fair work and procurement, delivering the sustainable, innovative and prosperous industry Scotland needs.
“I am grateful to all the businesses and public sector organisations which developed this plan for the benefit and future of the construction sector.'
The here and now and the longer term
The FMB’s main involvement over the months ahead will be through the Net Zero group, as I am one of the co-chairs. Now I know that there are and always will be day-to-day challenges and issues impacting FMB members. Current trading conditions, contractual issues, labour and skills supply, being three examples. We will continue to listen out to members through various channels including through your Scotland Board, on what I would describe as the here and now.
At the same time, the new Transformation Action Plan is the best opportunity to improve matters for the longer term.
In the words of Peter Reekie, chief executive of the Scottish Futures Trust and co-chair of the Transformation Action Plan Board: ‘For the sector to deliver more, with improved outcomes for businesses, its workforce, its clients and wider society, it must change. And every part of the industry must be involved in that change, feeling the benefits from it. That is why the Transformation Action Plan is a collaborative effort, bringing passionate people from across the sector together to work for our collective good.’
There is much to be done and this plan lays firm foundations for change and I would encourage members to spread the word to help create the industry we want to see.
For more information, please contact Gordon Nelson.