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Contractor group Build UK launches with new board and action plan

The contractor representatives overseeing Build UK’s strategy have been revealed today, as the new organisation released an action plan to coincide with its launch.

Build UK’s action plan will focus on the image of construction; skills; pre-qualification; health and safety; and fair payment.

The board chosen to oversee Build UK’s strategy is:

Joint chairmen James Wates (Wates Group) and Kevin Louch (Stanford - Association of Concrete Industrial Flooring Contractors);

Paul Abson (Bouygues UK);

Mark Castle (Mace Group);

Greg Craig (Skanska);

Matt Nicholson (Lakesmere - National Federation of Roofing Contractors);

Julie White (D-Drill - Drilling and Sawing Association);

and Steve Bratt (Electrical Contractors’ Association).

Build UK chief executive Suzannah Nichol was a strong advocate of main contractors improving their payment terms to their supply chain during her 13 years at the National Specialist Contractors’ Council.

Asked how she would now work with main contractors, she told Construction News: “Now that we have contractors sitting round the table, I don’t have to be the one asking those questions. I can say to a specialist contractor, ‘there is the main contractor, you ask the question’ and actually it’s a better debate.

“My job is to facilitate the conversation that we haven’t been able to have before. Put the two of them together, my job might just be making sure they have enough water. And that is fine.

“I don’t have a magic wand. If everyone walks out thinking their life might be a little bit better than it was yesterday, then that’s what I do. I can’t wave a magic wand and say you need to pay that person better. I need to find out why they don’t [in the first place].”

Build UK will represent 27 of the industry’s largest main contractors and 40 trade associations representing 11,500 specialist contractors.

Ms Nichol added: “Today is the culmination of an exciting year bringing two leading organisations together and we are now looking forward to working with our members and partners to deliver real and lasting change on the issues that matter.

“By getting the right people around the table and having honest and open debates, we are confident that Build UK will be able to deliver progress, not just for the contracting supply chain but the wider industry and its clients.”

Readers' comments (1)

  • StreetwiseSubbie

    Maybe the answer to why many Contractors don't pay on time and/or "pay better" is revealed by reading today's Construction News headline which says that "profit margins among the UK’s biggest contractors have declined markedly, with the overall margin for the top 25 firms dipping below 1.5 per cent."

    With the average operating margin across the top 25 firms down to 1.2 per cent, it is hardly surprising that cash is at a premium.

    Call me cynical but it seems to me that no amount of "honest and open debate" can fix their lack of cash.

    Perhaps Suzannah will need that magic wand after all...

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

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