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Construction sector inquiry launched in Scotland


A Scottish Parliament select committee has launched an inquiry into the country’s construction industry.

The Economy, energy and fair work committee said it wants to understand the sector’s characteristics and challenges “to ensure the sector realises its full potential in contributing to a productive and inclusive Scottish economy”.

Specific areas of focus for the inquiry will be the procurement model, access to finance, skills, innovation, and infrastructure investment.

As part of the inquiry, the committee seeks to explore the impact of the Scottish construction sector on the economy, how Scotland can take advantage of technological change in the sector and how the sector is being impacted by Brexit.

The committee also wants to examine the effectiveness of Scotland’s construction supply chain, payment terms and payment behaviours across the sector, as well as opportunities for growth in sub-sectors such as offsite construction.

Having called for written views from the Scottish construction sector, the committee will accept submissions up until February 13.

The inquiry was launched following a decision by the Scottish government earlier this month to consult on plans to reform retention practises in the spring.

Last month Scottish business minister Jamie Hepburn said the Scottish government should look at retentions as Westminster could not be relied upon to improve standards.

Meanwhile, it was last week revealed that the second reading of Conservative MP Peter Aldous’ bill to reform retention practices in the construction industry is to be delayed again in the UK Parliament.

Under Aldous’ bill, a compulsory retentions deposit scheme will be introduced to protect suppliers from insolvencies further up the supply chain.

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