Opinion Former Article

Association Chairman calls for supply chain to engage and work together

The recovery firmly underway across UK construction presents the right moment for industry and political parties to address persistent and serious challenges facing the entire supply chain through the creation of a new, cross-party manufacturing strategy, said John Sinfield, the new Chairman of the Construction Products Association.

In a speech today to 500 industry executives and government officials at the Association’s Annual Lunch, Mr Sinfield pointed out that the Association recently forecast the construction industry’s contribution to the wider UK economy will grow from £110 billion this year to £130 billion by 2017.

“A year ago we were suffering one of the worst quarters in recent memory, and speaking hopefully of the ‘dark before the dawn’”, said Mr Sinfield.  “We now have a firmly entrenched recovery underway across both the construction and manufacturing industries and the wider UK economy.  This is the time for our industry to come together and speak with a coherent voice on a number of pressing issues.

Mr Sinfield called upon policy makers and industry to recognise that, “Given all the political uncertainty over the coming year, we need manufacturing to be underpinned by a vibrant, long-term, cross-party industrial strategy which enables the UK to capture supply chain advantages for firms here in this country.

“The issues we face include the very real questions and regulatory uncertainty over energy security and costs, including carbon measures; the need to improve the energy efficiency of the existing housing stock in this country; the continuing difficulties many of our members have in accessing finance; and, the need to replace a ‘lost generation’ of skilled labour across both construction and manufacturing.

“As Chairman I look forward to leading efforts to help bring key players together to find a way forward on these matters.  Within the business community we have a wide range of business interests but a common goal, and our expertise and knowledge can offer policy makers credible, workable solutions.

“The Association is already undertaking a number of projects in support of the Industrial Strategy for Construction which are at the heart of these matters.  One is a study of a long-term projection of construction output and an analysis of the current level of capacity for construction product manufacturing, which has been published today.

“Another is to assess the regulatory and political risks that may inhibit further investment in businesses here.  All of this will provide clarity and insight for policy-makers and help them appreciate the challenges we face.

“Our Association is also involved across the wider supply chain with important work such as the digitalisation of construction using Building Information Modelling, the actual-versus-designed performance argument, and ensuring a low-carbon, resource efficient built environment.

“There is a tremendous amount of very important work to be done which will have a very real impact on our businesses”, Mr Sinfield concluded.  “However, we are well placed as the leading voice within our industry to help the wider construction and manufacturing communities to engage and work together.”
 




NOTE TO EDITORS:

As part of its support for Construction 2025: Industrial Strategy for Construction, the Association today published the first in a series of studies, this one entitled “A Long-Term Projection of Construction Output and Analysis of the Current Level of Capacity Utilisation for Construction Product Manufacturing”.  It is available on the Association website here.

The Construction Products Association represents the UK’s manufacturers and distributors of construction products and materials.  The sector directly provides jobs for 300,000 people across 20,000 companies, has an annual turnover of more than £40 billion and accounts for over 1/3 of total construction output.  The Association acts as the leading voice to promote and campaign for this vital UK industry.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Diana Montgomery     Chief Executive
                                    Construction Products Association
Tel :                             020 7323 3770
E-mail :                        diana.montgomery@constructionproducts.org.uk


Jeff May                      Marketing and Communications Manager
                                    Construction Products Association
Tel :                             020 7323 3770
Fax :                            020 7323 0307
Mobile :                       0790 447 6166
E-mail :                        jeff.may@constructionproducts.org.uk

Follow the Construction Products Association on Twitter: https://twitter.com/CPA_Tweets

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