Scottish construction conference to focus on innovation, productivity and growth



construction stockOver 400 of the Scottish construction industry’s key influencers and decision makers are set to gather today to discuss burning topics such as productivity, innovation, procurement and digitisation.

Hosted by BBC journalist David Henderson, the Construction Scotland and Innovation Centre Conference and Industry Showcase at the Hilton Hotel in Glasgow will be the largest construction conference in Scotland and is a key date for all industry leaders, senior practitioners, clients and stakeholders of Scotland’s construction industry.

Speakers will include Jamie Hepburn MSP, minister for employability and trainingJim McColl OBE, founder, chairman and CEO of Clyde Blowers, who will share his insights on growth through change and innovation, and Michael Dall, lead construction economist at Barbour ABI, a provider of construction intelligence, who will discuss future prospects for the industry.

Interactive workshops will tackle topical issues including delivering the Scottish Government’s target of 50,000 new homes, and rethinking public procurement.

Ken Gillespie, MD of Galliford Try and a member of Construction Scotland’s Industry Leadership Group, will chair one of the day’s key sessions focusing on building profit and productivity. The session will also feature Ian Ballentine, executive procurement director at Heathrow Airport; John Forster, chairman of Forster Group, and Lynsey Lennon, performance team leader – Alliance Management at Scottish Water.

The new Profit through Productivity initiative to help Scottish construction businesses boost their profits by improving their productivity and efficiency will also be launched today at the event. The new scheme is a collaboration between Construction Scotland Innovation Centre (CSIC), Scottish Enterprise, Scottish Manufacturing Advisory Service, Zero Waste Scotland and Skills Development Scotland.

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon and Bill McBride, chair of CSIC trying out some virtual reality goggles at the last Construction Scotland conference in 2014
First Minister Nicola Sturgeon and Bill McBride, chair of CSIC trying out some virtual reality goggles at the last Construction Scotland conference in 2014

Jamie Hepburn MSP, minister for employability and training, said: “The construction industry is a core sector of the Scottish economy, providing infrastructure to businesses across all sectors.  The Scottish Government fully appreciates the importance of the industry to the Scottish economy as a whole and to the all the people who are employed by the sector.  We have a strong commitment to continue to work together with Construction Scotland to grow our construction industry and achieve the best results for Scotland.”

Ed Monaghan, chair of Construction Scotland Industry Leadership Group, and chief executive of Mactaggart & Mickel Group, said: “Today is going to be a fantastic opportunity for hundreds of construction professionals to share ideas, hear some good business advice and hopefully be inspired by what can be possible if we look to the future and embrace change. It’s true that the construction industry faces some challenges, but I am confident that we can tackle them head-on by improving our efficiency, effectiveness, and by looking at new ways to do things. I hope today can be a starting point for a bright new future for the industry.”

Stephen Good, chief executive of Construction Scotland Innovation Centre, said: “Our last conference in 2014 saw the launch of the Construction Scotland Innovation Centre, and since then we have made fantastic progress, helping 33 innovative projects get off the ground so far. I’m looking forward to sharing some of the highlights with today’s audience, and hopefully inspiring even more people to get in touch with us with their ideas.”

Jim McColl OBE, founder, chairman and CEO of Clyde Blowers, said: “Construction is a really important part of our economy which impacts both directly and indirectly on all of us. I look forward to sharing some of the techniques and approaches we have used within a number of our businesses which have resulted in significant improvement in profitability.”



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