Graham welcomes new construction blueprint on productivity and innovation

Public sector construction works contributed £117bn to the UK's economy and supported two million jobs in 2018
Gary McDonald Business Editor

NEW plans outlining how government will work with the construction sector to make sure public sector works are delivered faster, better and greener have been welcomed by the head of one of the north's biggest building firms Graham.

In 2018, public sector works contributed £117 billion to the UK's economy and supported more than two million jobs.

The Construction Playbook outlines what government expects from these works, from new roads and railway lines to schools, hospitals and prisons.

The Hillsborough-based Graham Group, which employs around 2,000 people and which in its last trading year turned over £853 million, was a key player in driving the strategy, which it sees as an exceptional example of industry collaboration with government.

Its chairman Michael Graham said the publication is“ a fantastic opportunity for industry and government to come together and change the face of UK construction to deliver sustained value for money and a more stable, productive industry”.

He added: “The 14 key policies will transform how we assess, procure and deliver construction to achieve better, faster, greener delivery.

“It sets out a new ambition for the sector. But is only the start of the journey, and we look forward to playing our role to help deliver these better outcomes.”

The book also outlines the key role the construction sector will play in both the UK’s recovery from the coronavirus pandemic and work to bring greenhouse gas emissions down to net zero by 2050.

Green initiatives in the blueprint include promoting the use of carbon assessments to understand and minimise the greenhouse emissions of projects.

Other specific measures include:

  • Providing greater certainty to industry through long term plans for key programmes. This will include longer term contracting across a range of areas which will give industry the certainty required to invest in new technologies, delivering improved productivity and efficiency savings;
  • Incentivising industry to innovate by focusing on the output of what it wants a project to achieve, rather than micro-managing how it is done;
  • Modernising construction by standardising designs and parts, as well as embedding digital technologies;
  • Greater focus on building positive relationships with robust contract management between project leads and industry; and
  • Investing more in training and apprenticeships, driving forward innovation in construction, boost productivity and focus on value for money in public sector developments.
  • Cabinet Office Minister Lord Agnew said: “As the largest construction sector customer, government is in an ideal position to ensure that the industry is productive, professional and delivers value for money for taxpayers.

“By adopting the new Construction Playbook, we will help ensure that the sector becomes greener and more innovative.”

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