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Ray O'Rourke, Paul Sheffield and Simon Kirby part of advisory council to support Hansford industrial strategy

Kier chief executive Paul Sheffield and Network Rail infrastructure projects managing director Simon Kirby will join Laing O’Rourke chief executive Ray O’Rourke among the 18 names on a new advisory panel to help formulate an industrial strategy for construction.

The Construction Industrial Strategy Advisory Council will support chief construction adviser Peter Hansford as he writes the industrial strategy for construction, due to be published in the summer.

The strategy is expected to take a 10-15 year look at how to make the industry “world class”.

The issues the strategy is expected to cover include growth and innovation, the supply chain, SME engagement, skills, access to finance and overseas trade.

It will build on, but not duplicate, the work of the Green Construction Board and the Infrastructure UK Cost Review.

In his first interview since replacing Paul Morrell in the role as chief construction adviser, Mr Hansford told CN the industrial strategy was an “exciting” opportunity for the industry, and that his advisory council would represent “the breadth of the industry” to work on the proposal.

Construction minister Michael Fallon has announced a team of top industry figures who will work with government on the strategy.

Reaction: Strategic Forum for Construction

The Strategic Forum has committed to establish a series of task groups, which will work with government to identify and tackle some of the key issues that are to be addressed as part of the strategy.

Strategic Forum for Construction chair Bill Bolsover said: One only needs to look back to the 90s to see how much the industry can change in a relatively short period of time. If UK construction is to be well placed to respond to the demands of the 2020s, we must start planning now. The Strategic Forum welcomes the formation of CISAC to define what this future might look like. We are pleased to support this work, ensuring a globally competitive future for our industry.”

National Specialist Contractors Council president Kevin Louch said: “CISAC will engage with the supply chain to develop a vision for the industry to become world-class. By doing so, it will create the opportunity to make the industry the career of choice for future generations.”

Construction Products Association chairman Geoff Cooper said: “The announcement by government of an industrial strategy for construction is a much-needed boost for the UK’s industrial base, but there is still work to be done. Construction products output is more than £50 billion, which contributes 4.5 per cent to the UK’s gross domestic product and represents 40 per cent of construction by value. With a clear strategy and consistent policies from government, we know the industry is keen to invest to ensure its future growth in the UK.”

Construction Industry Council chairman Jack Pringle said: “The generation of an industrial strategy for the construction sector should seek to build on our existing strengths. The UK already leads the world in areas such as professional services, so we look forward to working with CISAC to ensure that this excellence is developed through in-depth collaboration in the future”

Specialist Engineering Contractors Group chairman Trevor Hursthouse said: “While they may not arise for many years, the potential benefits of this work are significant. But we can only create a strategy for the whole industry if all players are involved. For that reason, we welcome the creation of CISAC with a membership that is drawn from the industry.”

Construction Alliance chairman Mark Wakeford said: “We enthusiastically support the chief construction adviser in the creation of CISAC. Representing the breadth and depth of the industry, the Strategic Forum for Construction looks forward to supporting CISAC and the government in this important work”.


Mr Fallon said: “Industrial strategy is about setting out a long-term government approach to how we support business. This will give confidence now for investment and growth.

“Construction is a sector where government and business working together can have a real impact. It can drive productivity and growth in other parts of the economy.

“We are very clear that in order for it to deliver, the construction industrial strategy must be developed in true partnership with industry. This advisory council will be an important part of that.”

Skanska UK chief executive and president Mike Putnam said: “I am delighted to be part of the new advisory panel, working with Peter Hansford. By bringing together a cross section of our industry, we have a fantastic opportunity to create a long-term industrial strategy that supports growth in the economy. We at Skanska are passionate about bringing sustainable solutions and innovation to construction. We believe the transition to a low carbon economy is not only a realistic aspiration, but also an essential one.”

Construction Industrial Strategy Advisory Council members:

• Peter Hansford (chair) – chief construction adviser, UK government
• Denise Bower – professor in engineering project management, University of Leeds
• Mark Clare – group chief executive, Barratt Developments
• Geoff Cooper – chief executive, Travis Perkins
• Keith Howells – chairman, Mott MacDonald
• Chris Kane – director, Greendale Construction
• Simon Kirby – managing director, Infrastructure Projects Network Rail
• Kevin Louch – managing director, Stanford Industrial Concrete Flooring
• Robert Mair – professor and head of civil and environmental engineering, University of Cambridge
• Chris Newsome – director of asset management, Anglian Water
• Ray O’Rourke – chief executive and chairman, Laing O’Rourke
• David Pinder – chief executive, BDR Thermea
• Neil Sachdev – property director, Sainsbury’s
• Paul Sheffield – chief executive, Kier Group
• James Stewart – chairman of global infrastructure, KPMG
• Jack Pringle – principal, managing director, Pringle Brandon Perkins + Will
• Mike Putnam – CEO and president, Skanska UK
• Mark Wakeford – managing director, Stepnell

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