THE RETHINKING Construction Initiative will be extended for a further two years from March 2002 with the main aim of spreading the best practice message to smaller contractors.
The Construction Best Practice Programme is setting up a team of 50 specialist advisors to try to reach a further 35,000 small and medium-sized companies.
Construction minister Brian Wilson announced the extension to the Rethinking Construction programme last week.
He said: 'This will result in better delivery of the government's plans for increased investment in education, health and transport.'
Rethinking Construction was launched in the wake of Sir John Egan's report in 1998 and brings together the M4I, Housing Forum and central and local government task forces in a bid to improve industry efficiency.
The Construction Best Practice Programme is charged with disseminating good ideas from Rethinking Construction and its latest move is designed to get the message to smaller firms.
CBPP head of company engagement Brian Moone said: 'We have been looking at improving links with smaller firms for the past year. We have got 20 advisers trained up now with another 15 in the pipeline with the aim of getting the team up to 50.
'There are 180,000 construction firms, but many of them at the very small end don't really find best practice relevant.
'We are looking at firms towards the top 20 per cent - those that are in a supply chain and could benefit from best practice.
'We want to make sure they receive best practice ideas that are practical for them so they don't waste time listening to things that are irrelevant to their business.'
Construction Products Association chief executive Michael Ankers said: 'There is much still to be done if we are to spread the message to the whole industry.'
Mr Wilson said the Rethinking Construction team would also be forming closer links with the recently formed Strategic Forum for Construction who will both sit down with the minister to discuss future strategies this autumn.
grant. prior@construct. emap. com