Industry veteran to chair Construction Scotland Industry Leadership Group

Construction Scotland Industry Leadership Group (CSILG) has named industry veteran Ron Fraser as its new chairman.

Fraser, who takes up the post from November 1, is said to have extensive experience in the UK’s construction sector, having worked in the industry for more than 40 years. A chartered civil engineer, he has acted as designer, contractor and client representative for construction projects in Scotland and across the world.

The new chairman has been a member of CSILG since 2015 and was appointed its executive director in 2017. He led the development of the Scottish construction industry strategy published in 2019 and was a founding participant in the establishment of the construction leadership forum with the Scottish Government.

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The group said Fraser would be taking the chair at a “critical time for the construction sector” as it attempts to recover from the financial implications of the pandemic, coupled with ongoing material and resourcing shortages which are driving up costs.

Ron Fraser, who takes up the post from November 1, is said to have extensive experience in the UK’s construction sector, having worked in the industry for more than 40 years.

Fraser said: “I have actively participated in CSILG since joining in 2015 and I am honoured to have been elected by the industry leadership group as their chair for the next three years.

“The construction sector is well placed to play a major role in helping Scotland to achieve its net carbon zero targets, to provide the infrastructure that we need to support economic and social development across the country and to provide stimulating and rewarding careers for people from a wide range of backgrounds. However, achieving this will require cultural change by all stakeholders in the built environment.

“I am looking forward to collaborating with the Scottish Government, public sector bodies and all parts of the industry on improving the way in which we both procure and deliver the built environment in Scotland.”

During the pandemic, Fraser developed, in conjunction with industry, the safe operating guidance that facilitated a return to work for the sector.

Current chairman Ken Gillespie, who has held the post since 2017, said: “Construction Scotland has been working with all of our stakeholders to try and improve the way we do business together thereby continuing to enhance the sector's contribution to the inclusive economic growth of Scotland whilst reducing economic leakage.

“Whilst we have made excellent progress in bringing into focus the challenges facing the sector along with suggested solutions, implementation of the collective actions necessary to transform the sector remains challenging.

“To achieve this transformation requires a cultural change in behaviour towards long term and collaborative relationships and a major shift in procurement practice including ending the prevalent culture of driving down to the lowest tender price.

“Ron is a natural choice as CSILG's next chair, given his extensive experience, long standing involvement and the substantial contribution he has made to date.”

A report earlier this year suggested that more than 26,000 jobs will need to be created over the next four years to keep Scotland’s construction sector on track.

Construction Scotland, through its industry leadership group, describes itself as the “collective voice of the industry” providing leadership and engagement, co-operation and collaboration across the sector and representing the views of the industry to government.

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