Under construction – the UK Government's plans for a new Advisor

Clay Technology magazine
16 Oct 2009
A builder at work

The UK Government recently announced its plans to appoint a three-day per week Chief Adviser on Construction (CCA).

According to the Department for Business Innovation and Skills (BIS), the ideal candidate will be working at a high level within the sector and maintain their hand in industry.

Ian Pearson, the Economic Secretary to the Treasury, says,  ‘This role will provide a central “focal point” for the construction industry acknowledging the value of this sector and the importance of delivering a sustainable and low carbon economy that remains competitive'.

Letters have been sent out to industry bodies, asking for suitable candidates to be put forward. With an appointment expected to be made as early as November, Clay Technology asked key representatives from the sector what they want the CCA to achieve.

Michael Driver, Chief Executive, the Brick Development Association, London, UK –‘I believe that the Government’s announcement of the appointment of a Chief Construction Adviser is a
positive step that recognises construction’s huge impact on the economy. It is also acknowledgment that the revolving door approach that has seen nine different junior ministers given responsibility for construction since 2001 is not doing the industry justice.

‘The Adviser will chair a new Construction Strategy Board that will look after public sector procurement and an enhanced Sustainable Construction Delivery Board to coordinate the sustainability agenda. If the appointee is able to do this while remaining independent and yet having access to the relevant procuring and regulatory departments with the full authority of the Treasury, it will be a valuable and worthwhile appointment.’

Mark Morris, Marketing Director at Wienerberger, Cheshire, UK –‘The appointment demonstrates the Government’s commitment to this sector.’ He adds that it can only be beneficial for the industry to have representation at the heart of government.

‘We understand the CCA’s role involves the promotion and coordination of innovation and sustainability… It is encouraging that these initiatives will be supported from the very top.

‘It will be interesting to see who is appointed and what experience they bring to the role. Wienerberger looks forward to hearing the ideas and initiatives the CCA develops, especially for the future of the housing market.’

Michael Ankers, Chief Executive, Construction Products Association, London –
‘We hope the Advisor can help promote joined up thinking within Government and influence policy that supports the sector.

‘We need to create an environment to keep the construction industry competitive in the UK and not over regulated. To do this we need an individual with a clear idea of how to address key issues, such as dealing with the environmental impact of the sector.

‘At the same time we must recognise that whoever accepts this role will need support from the industry to make it clear to the Government what needs to be done.’