CLC calls for an end to self-employment on sites

Grant Prior 2 years ago
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The Construction Industry Council is calling for an end to self-employment throughout the supply chain on public sector projects by 2024.

The CLC wants procurement practices changed to “demand direct employment within supply chains through pre-qualification questionnaires and tender criteria.”

The call is part of a new skills plan to boost new entrants into the industry and increase apprenticeships.

It said direct employment is “an enabler of apprenticeships, digital upskilling and competence.”

But the move has come under fire from industry experts who claim those who sit on the trade body and main contractor dominated CLC “don’t actually employ the skills that they say are in crisis.”

One labour expert said: “Apprenticeships are in decline because after decades of lobbying on behalf of large firms, government departments and local authorities don’t use local firms for local jobs, they package up small works into huge frameworks which are then snapped up by the major contractors who sub to the lowest cost.

“You can’t impose full employment on the supply chain without talking about who pays for it.

“Are they expecting the operatives to willingly give up being self-employed whilst being paid less, should the specialist subcontractor firms take the hit, or are they saying they are willing to pick up the additional costs?

“If the CLC is serious they will start with themselves. To be a member of the CLC  or to work on public funded projects the members should agree to self-deliver, employing the people they need to build their jobs rather than acting like management contractors, and before preaching to others.”

Full details of the the CLC skills plan can be found here.

Mark Reynolds, Group Chief Executive of Mace and CLC member, said: “This is the most ambitious and wide-ranging skills plan the construction sector has ever produced.

“It should have a far-reaching impact on how we attract, retain and develop people in construction and help deliver upon Government’s home-building and infrastructure plans.

“Many of the challenges we address in this plan will require a shared commitment over years, so the hard work starts now to deliver real and lasting change for the benefit of the whole sector.”

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