Scottish Construction Recovery Plan Launched

Scottish Construction Recovery Plan Launched

A draft recovery plan for the construction sector in Scotland has been launched today by the Scottish Construction Leadership Forum (CLF). The plan, which has been created collaboratively with industry, sets out the pathway for joint action between industry and the public sector in response to the impact caused by the global pandemic on the on the construction sector.

Grahame Barn

CECA Scotland, through it’s Chief Executive, Grahame Barn, has been represented on the Construction Leadership Forum from it’s inception in March 2019. Several streams of work are ongoing, and prior to Covid-19 the Forum was at the early stages of considering a wider agenda for change across the industry. The Scottish civils framework is one of the workstreams that was begun prior to COVID -19 and has continued to be developed throughout this period.

The construction industry in Scotland has, like many others, been hit hard by the Covid-19 pandemic. The sector in Scotland which provided £7.8 billion GVA to the Scottish economy and employs 143,000 people in over 50,000 enterprises, is estimated to have contracted by 28.6 per cent in June as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic compared to the same month a year ago (June 2019).

The recovery plan has been created through extensive consultation and collaboration with more than 50 organisations across business, Scottish Government, trades unions and other bodies and represents a shared view from across the sector of a plan to get industry back on its feet.

The plan outlines the immediate and short-term response to Covid-19 and sets out a pathway between this and the longer-term transformation required to build a stronger, fairer and greener economic future for Scotland.

Peter Reekie

Peter Reekie, chief executive of the Scottish Futures Trust and chair of the editorial group of the Construction Leadership Forum, said: “The construction industry in Scotland has received a major blow from the Covid-19 pandemic. However, the level of collaboration which has gone in to preparing this Recovery Plan is unprecedented and sets a strong foundation for transformative recovery for the industry. I urge all stakeholders with an interest in the construction and related industries in Scotland to feed in your thoughts to make it even stronger.”

Ken Gillespie, chair of the Industry Leadership Group, said: “This plan has only been possible through the depth of collaboration across the sector, and hard work of all involved, and demonstrates the sector’s ability to come together in a time of crisis. This is only the beginning though. The plan will evolve and respond to reflect the feedback and the needs of the sector. We are therefore calling for industry to review and contribute to the plan.”

The plan identifies five areas for concerted and collaborative efforts over the coming months and has established Sub-Groups to develop and progress joint action plans:

Pipeline & Commercials
Skills & Workforce
Supply Chain Resilience & Capability
Industry Data & Insight

The plan calls for key actions to respond to immediate needs which include:

A clear pipeline of work brought to market quickly and efficiently on fair commercial terms which reflect the reality of the Covid-19 environment.
Support of employment, fairness of work and those who may become unemployed through what will be a difficult period.
Transformation of working practices to maintain and enhance worker safety whilst enabling productivity in the Covid-19 working environment.

Kevin Stewart MSP

Housing Minister Kevin Stewart said: “The construction sector supports many other areas of our economy so it is important that we maintain the health and vitality of the industry. In order to develop this plan, we have reached new heights of collaboration but we are now keen to hear from the wider industry to ensure that we arrive at a plan that will preserve jobs and help to revive our economy.”

Grahame Barn, CECA Scotland Chief Executive said:

“CECA Scotland wishes to thank all those individuals from within our membership who have represented CECA and the wider civil engineering sector on the Leadership Group and subsequent Sub-Groups as well as those who are working towards developing a Scottish civils framework. This has required a very significant commitment at a time when other pressing business issues are at the fore”.

The Scottish Construction Leadership Forum (CLF), which has led the development of the plan, is a collaborative initiative of Construction Scotland and the Scottish Government. It was established in March 2019. Chaired by Housing Minister Kevin Stewart for the duration of the crisis, it widened its membership in response to Covid-19 and has already developed and implemented plans to get the industry safely back to work to develop and implement an action plan of improvement initiatives aligned with Government policies and the Construction Scotland Industry Strategy. Several streams of work are ongoing and prior to Covid-19, the Forum was at the early stages of considering a wider agenda for change across the industry.

The CLF shared vision is of an industry that promotes a safe, productive, profitable, digitally-enabled, low-carbon, and socially responsible construction industry which offers quality jobs and fair work to a highly skilled and diverse workforce and a quality and life-time value product to its customers.

Read the Recovery Plan and have your say

The recovery plan is available to view on or can be downloaded on the CECA website here.

This is a living plan with the first steps and pathway for joint action set out within it. Feedback and comments from industry participants and stakeholders on the content and actions are welcomed. Comments received by 15 September will be considered for the final version and should be sent via email to by 15 September. The target date for publication of the finalised industry recovery plan is early October.