This website uses cookies primarily for visitor analytics. Certain pages will ask you to fill in contact details to receive additional information. On these pages you have the option of having the site log your details for future visits. Indicating you want the site to remember your details will place a cookie on your device. To view our full cookie policy, please click here. You can also view it at any time by going to our Contact Us page.

Panel advises 'factory mentality' approach to solve industry issues

20 May 2016

One of the outcomes from a recent cross-industry round table was the construction sector needs to adopt a factory mentality to overcome its many challenges.

Hosted by UK Construction Week, this was the first gathering of a number of advisory panels and consisted of senior figures from architecture, engineering, contracting and housebuilding.

Discussion covered a number of key issues, including the skills shortage, diversity, the housing crisis and the reputation of the sector.

Chaired by property developer and Built by Her campaigner Marta de Sousa, she began the meeting the meeting by asking the panel how the industry expects to attract the reported 36,000 new workers required each year.

Places for People group chief executive David Cowans highlighted the issue of short termism, resulting from the exposure to economic pressures, which is a "major barrier" and creates a boom-bust cycle that sees workers sacked when production falls.

Glenigan economics director Alan Wilen cited the number of projects on hold, presumed to be awaiting outcome of the European referendum and creating further uncertainty.

The need to increase the use of practices such as off-site manufacturing was discussed by Cabinet Office head of construction Dr David Hancock, receiving agreement from the panel.

This will involve moving away from traditional mind and skill sets and overcoming deep-seated negative perceptions, it was stated.

L&G Homes chief executive officer Tom Ground said computer-controlled factory environments also offer a means of improving diversity in the workplace and removing the need for practices such as the lifting of heavy objects.

Comparing construction with manufacturing, Construction Products Association chief executive officer Dr Diana Montgomery said there is no skills shortage in the latter, which benefits from more workforce diversity due to different working conditions.

A video summary of the discussion can be viewed at

PFM editor Dennis Flower has chaired a panel discussion for the HVAC part of UK Construction Week, the results of which will be published next week.

PFM is the media partner for the HVAC section of the show which takes place from 18 to 20 October at Birmingham's NEC.

Print this page | E-mail this page


Article image Why the Law Says You Need a Nappy Bin Disposal Service

At home, parents are used to disposing of their babies’ used nappies the same way they do any other domestic waste - bagging it up and sticking it in the rubbish for general collection.Full Story...

Article image Jail sentence for company director for sale of illegal products

After ignoring action and instructions from the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), a company director has been sentenced to 10 months in prison.Full Story...

Infrastructure woes lead to Amey being advertised for sale

Supply chain business owner speaks out on anniversary of Carillion collapse

Further expansion announced by IFMA