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ConstructionSkills chief sets out CCA priorities

ConstructionSkills chief executive Mark Farrar has set out his priorities for whoever takes on the Government’s new chief construction adviser role.

The Department for Business, Information and Skills announced last month that it was looking to recruit to the new position by November.

Mr Farrar welcomed the decision to create the role, but said the successful candidate had to show leadership to make an impact.

He said: “The appointment of a CCA should go some way in showing that the Government has been listening to what we desperately need in order to be in the strongest possible position for when the economic upturn kicks in.

“High on the priority list for the CCA should be ensuring that the existing commitments for public construction spend are delivered over the next few years – commitments which are going to be at risk due to the significant public sector debt.

“The public sector is the industry’s largest client and, for the industry to emerge from the recession with the best skillset, it is imperative that planned work goes ahead.”

He added: “These contracts must also be used to drive positive change for the supply of skills to the sector. In April this year, the Office of Government Commerce produced procurement guidelines which give all public sector clients the power to require successful contractors to have apprentices and wider training embedded in their workforce; a key part of the CCA’s role must now be to turn this policy into action at every available opportunity.

“Further emphasis should also be placed on the public sector to implement best practice in areas such as low carbon and waste management. These areas of innovation are where the UK needs to be at the forefront in order to continue to compete on the international stage.”