CITB to fund procurement research

The Construction Industry Training Board is to put up £3m for research into construction procurement and is inviting applications.

The CITB’s Improving performance through better procurement approaches programme comes on the back of research sponsored by the Institution of Civil Engineers in 2017 that found procurement methods could hinder productivity.

The role of the CITB is to ensure that the UK construction industry has the workforce it needs. Here, it seems to be treading into the territory of training clients of the industry too.

CITB is looking to fund projects that explore new approaches to procurement that can improve performance, such as collaboration through supply chains. It is looking for research proposals from levy-registered employers seeking to improve project performance, trade groups, construction clients, procurement framework specialists, training providers or consultancies.

Steve Radley, CITB director of strategy and policy, said: “While other sectors have seen increases in productivity in recent decades, construction has lagged behind with weak approaches to procurement playing a key role. We want to explore new and more collaborative ways of working that can improve supply chain relationships within procured projects, meaning more housing and infrastructure delivered on time and on budget to the benefit of clients and the construction industry alike”.

The Civil Engineering Contractors Association (CECA) is pleased to see the CITB move into this territory. Chief executive Alasdair Reisner said: “Our members are seeing significant changes in the way that the sector’s customers are engaging their suppliers, moving away from old transactional approaches to create a whole new business model for the sector. Leading clients are looking to work in long term relationships that are focused on delivering outstanding outcomes for users, while harnessing new technologies to build more productively. Industry needs to harness this new productivity, and we hope that this procurement commission can play a part in securing this”.

The deadline for expressions of interest is 10th June 2019, while applications must be submitted by 24th June 2019.