Pilot schemes to save contractors and supply chain SMEs £25m

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home building and infrastructure projects, procurement,
© Somakram

The Construction Industry Training Board (CITB) and construction employees are piloting four home building and infrastructure projects in the hopes of improving procurement practices

The schemes aim to improve procurement practices to achieve £25m savings for home building and infrastructure projects.

The ‘Improving Performance Through Better Procurement Approaches’ commission will see just under 12,000 construction workers trained. Half of the workers will be from small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), within the housing, infrastructure and local authority-led construction sectors.

The four home building and infrastructure projects are set to receive £3m funding, but are expected to achieve £25m in savings. They will also focus on collaboration to mitigate risk, as well as an emphasis on quality and whole life outcomes, not just time spent.

Sarah Beale, CITB chief executive, announced: “With ever-rising costs, it’s vital that we exploit and highlight the gains that more efficient procurement can bring to construction through driving up productivity.

“These pilot projects will explore good practice that can be shared to support homebuilders and civil engineers, training that is set to deliver substantial cost savings.”

The four home building and infrastructure projects are as follows:

Accredited training courses

The Supply Chain School will develop continuing professional development-accredited training courses and online resources during the next three years, plus tools to assess training needs and track performance.

Training will be provided to 740 construction companies working on homebuilding and infrastructure sites, with an expected savings of £5m.

The project partners include homebuilders Barratt Developments; Bovis Homes; Building Better Homes; Morgan Sindall; Taylor Wimpey; Telford Homes and Wates Group, along with The Construction Leadership Council; Laing O’Rourke; Skanska; John Sisk & Sons; Sir Robert McAlpine; Kier; King’s College; and the South East & Mid Wales Collaborative Construction Framework.

Andrew Day, sustainability director for Telford Homes, said: “This funding is great news for the house building sector. Telford Homes Plc like many other house builders and developers rely on our supply chain to build homes and mixed-use developments of high quality. This funding will enable us to collaborate better with our suppliers and peers to build more homes to the highest standards.”

Boost productivity

CECA will create a training syllabus in how to boost productivity. It will include digital transformation, partly based on the industry-led Project 13 business model.  

The project partners are: Sir Robert McAlpine; Kier; BAM Nuttall; Galliford Try; Costain; Skanska; Geoffrey Osborne; Balfour Beatty; Tarmac; Clancy Docwra; Taylor Woodrow; Laing O’Rourke; HW Martin; McGee Group; Mitie Association for Consultancy & Engineering; Pinsent Masons; Arup; CA Blackwell; Jacobs; Nichols Group; Aquam Corp; Bentley Systems; Mark Bezzant; Glenn Hide; Schulmans; Fenwick Elliott; Driver Treet; Robert Bilbrough Associates; and Skyblue.

Alasdair Reisner, chief executive of CECA, said: “CECA is delighted to be working with CITB to help deliver this scheme which mark the first steps in the journey towards driving notable efficiencies and innovation in projects for the long term.

“Our sector has historically suffered from low profit margins, which for some companies, can be as little as 0.7%. As such, any initiative to enable industry to recoup additional revenues for reinvestment is extremely welcome and the commission’s work aligns itself with the new models of delivery our customers are starting to adopt.”

Supply chain innovation and value

Over the next three years Nottingham Trent University will focus on enabling supply chains, mostly in SMEs, to contribute to innovation and value.

This home building and infrastructure project will be tested on three live construction projects:

  • A new teaching facility for the university’s Shakespeare Street campus
  • Ark Academy school, Birmingham
  • Arena Academy school, Birmingham

The university’s partners are Morgan Sindall and Midlands Constructing Excellence, and learning will be shared by bringing together the supply partners involved.

Highways England schemes

BAM Nuttall will work with the Lean Construction Institute; Mace; Skanska; Galliford Try; and Costain during the next two years on three Highways England schemes.

A total of 1,200 construction workers will be trained through this homebuilding and infastructure project, and a competency framework, skills standards and learning resources will also all be made available.

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