Network Rail chief executive Sir David Higgins will head up a new Construction Leadership Council charged with creating a “radically transformed” industry by 2025.
The new cross-industry body will be jointly chaired by Higgins, business secretary Vince Cable and construction minister Michael Fallon. It is a key component in chief construction advisor Peter Hansford’s new Construction 2025 industrial strategy published this week.
The strategy challenges the industry and the government to work together to meet ambitious targets by 2025. These include reducing costs by 33%, overall project delivery time by 50%, emissions by 50% and boosting construction exports by 50%.
Speaking to NCE ahead of the strategy’s publication, Hansford said that the council would create a partnership between government and industry “which previously hasn’t existed”.
“What will make [this vision] happen is industry working with government through the new Construction Leadership Council.”
The council will bring together 27 key people from across construction including Crossrail chief executive Andrew Wolstenholme, Laing O’Rourke chief executive Anna Stewart, Kier chief executive Paul Sheffield and Arup director Terry Hill.
“The council will own the strategy and oversee its implementation,” explained Hansford, adding that this meant that the industry and the government would be accountable for delivery.
“We have got buy-in across the whole of government and the industry for this strategy,” he said.
Hansford’s vision is for a construction industry in 2025 that is no longer characterised “by late delivery, cost overruns, commercial friction, late payment, accidents, unfavourable workplaces, a workforce unrepresentative of society or as an industry slow to embrace change”.
It sets out commitments to start the process of transforming the industry across five key areas of people, smart technology, sustainability, economic growth and leadership and includes an action plan for delivery starting immediately. The council is now charged with developing an action plan to achieve its ambitions between now and 2025.
- An interview with Peter Hansford about his Construction 2025 industrial strategy is published in this week’s iPad issue of NCE and will be published in print next week.