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Construction officer to be appointed by November

A chief construction officer to advise the government on the industry is expected to be appointed as early as November.

“We have taken our time to get the role right to ensure that it fits well with a range of new and existing initiatives,” said business minister Ian Lucas.

“We are now pressing ahead with recruiting. I want to see a high-quality individual in place by November.” The post will be filled on a three-day-a-week basis.

“We are now pressing ahead with recruiting. I want to see a high-quality individual in place by November.”

Ian Lucas

The move follows recommendations made in the business and enterprise select committee’s Construction Matters report published last July and a six-week consultation on the role earlier this year.

Industry bodies have long campaigned for the creation of such a role and welcomed the news.

“It is key to have a single point within Westminster and Whitehall,” said a Civil Engineering Contractors Association (CECA) spokesman.

Championing the industry

“We need someone who can consistently champion for the industry and pick up and co-ordinate on issues like improving efficiency, health and safety and public sector procurement.”

The Department for Business Innovation and Skills (BIS) said it was looking for someone who could “maintain their hand in industry and so maintain their current role, on something like a secondment.”

ICE director general Tom Foulkes welcomed the decision, but stressed that if the chief adviser is to improve the industry’s ability to deliver much needed upgrades to the UK’s transport, power, water and waste systems, it will be essential for the role to have a strategic focus.

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