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Constructing Excellence welcomes Farmer Review

(first published 18th October 2016, updated 5th January 2017)

We welcome the publication of the Farmer report (#FarmerReview) – and congratulate the team on excellent coverage in the Guardian and Telegraph amongst others. Construction News had a particularly good analysis.

Ten industry symptoms: low productivity; low predictability; structural fragmentation; leadership fragmentation; low margins, adversarial pricing models & financial fragility; a dysfunctional training, funding & delivery model; workforce size & demographics; lack of collaboration & improvement culture; lack of R&D & investment in innovation; poor industry image.

All have been highlighted many times before, eg by Latham, Egan, Wolstenholme, and all are core to our agenda – BUT it is great to see this in the context of a SKILLS review, and even better then to see the recommendations around “total reform” of CITB to focus on these. Plenty of encouragement who see an industry much more industrialised and delivering through “pre-manufactured methods”. What chance the final recommendation? “If clients fail to act and adopt the above recommendations, the government should introduce a tax of no more than 0.5 per cent of a project’s total construction value in attempt to alter behaviour. Clients would be able to avoid paying this by demonstrating how they are contributing and bettering the industry – particularly around skills and innovation.” It would certainly add focus and momentum to the work of our Clients’ Group.

Farmer also writes: “The recently announced merger between Constructing Excellence and [BRE] signifies a greater potential impact of these important bodies through aggregation and scale but all of this still requires ‘hard wiring’ into the mainstream industry and its clients to maximise its scalable impact”. We are committed to seizing the opportunity this provides, and are delighted that Mark Farmer has agreed to speak at our members forum on February 14th 2017 in order to help us maximise the value we can add.”