New hub aims to 'embed better procurement' in construction

22 April 2021

A new construction skills hub aims to improve the quality of procurement practices in the construction industry.

The Supply Chain Sustainability School (SCSS) has launched what it believes to be the first construction-focused skills hub, as part of a joint venture with CIPS, the Institute for Collaborative Working, and King’s College London.

The programme will provide free self-assessments, e-learning modules, an innovative cloud-based performance tool and a library of best practice procurement resources.

It will be funded by the Construction Industry Training Board and industry partners.

SCSS said it aimed to offer resources to businesses “at all stages of their procurement journey”.

Topics covered include supplier relationship and management and collaborative procurement.

SCSS said the sector had failed to increase productivity over the last 40 years and members often cited procurement as a blocker to innovation and improved performance.

Shaun McCarthy, chair of SCSS, said: “In the 25 plus years since the Latham Report, there have been various calls for the construction industry to improve the way it procures.

“Although the industry has pockets of good practice, there is still a need to embed better procurement in all tiers of the supply chain.”

Duncan Brook, group director at CIPS, said improving procurement skills was an essential part of addressing “some of the poor commercial practices which affect performance, reduce quality and impact safety”.

“It is important that improvement in procurement practices happen at all levels of the supply chain,” Brock added.

Professor David Mosey, of the Centre of Construction Law at King’s College, described industry training on collaborative procurement as “long overdue” and said it would be essential to help “resolve age-old problems and to improve efficiency, value and risk management”.

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