Revised CLC strategy prioritises net zero and skills

The Construction Leadership Council (CLC) has announced it will refocus its work as part of a strategy launched today to guide it over the next three years.

The trade body said it will focus its efforts on four long-term ambitions to deliver “transformational change”, as it outlined its intentions to “boost productivity and create a more resilient industry” following the pandemic:

• net zero and biodiversity;
• next generation delivery;
• building safety; and
• people and skills.

In webinar slides explaining its new priorities, the CLC promised to draw on the expertise of the Construction Industry Council’s (CIC) Green Construction Board to “drive action” around achieving net zero.

Minimising whole life carbon impacts of projects, in particular by looking at steel and cement use in buildings, was one of the pillars of the Green Construction Board’s ‘Construct Zero’ nine priorities.

Rolling out the acceleration of zero emission vehicles at contractors is another focus which the CLC is adopting under its new three-year focus.

The CLC also said it will look to play a role in helping the sector improve building safety by supporting the delivery of the ‘Golden Thread’, which was introduced as part of the Building Safety Act earlier this year.

The ‘Golden Thread’ supports the collection of key information to help workers understand how to keep buildings safe via an information management system to ensure the information is accurate, easily understandable, accessible to those who need it, and up to date.

Speaking to Construction News about this priority, CLC co-chair Mark Reynolds said: “Building safety is a real issue for the industry. We have got to champion that for the industry [and to ensure] high quality developments.

“It’s going to be a bumpy journey over the next few years, [but] we need to help industry navigate through that. It is easy to say, ‘follow the building regs’. [However], it’s hard for the industry to follow what that means.”

Reynolds also highlighted the CLC’s need to improve training for the industry and said it would “hold ourselves to account” on this point.

“Skills is really about making sure we have the ability and capacity to deliver the economic growth. You wouldn’t ask an athlete to go and perform if they didn’t train,” he said.

Reynolds said the CLC will move competency from its building safety strand of work and put it under the skills umbrella in order to reflect the importance of that agenda.

He also said that the new strategy contains less emphasis on exports and trade than previously.

“That was a key pillar in the 2013 CLC strategy,” he said. “We didn’t really push it during Andy’s tenure, and this time we have agreed to take the out of our agenda. The Department for International Trade is doing a good job on that, we don’t need to duplicate it.”

Along with its four priorities, the CLC recognised “more immediate challenges” faced by the sector and pledged to address these areas. They include mitigating impacts of inflation and business sustainability and insolvency issues.

The CLC will appoint a new board to provide strategic direction to the council and ensure the CLC, government and industry are set up for delivery.

It also announced plans to recruit “industry sponsors and young ambassadors” to sit within its new structure, who will enable the group to increase its engagement with senior business leaders across the sector.

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