Specialist Engineering Contracting Group Scotland (SEC Group Scotland) is being set up to represent the interests of subcontractors, to lobby against procurement methods and tendering procedures that hurt trade contractors. It will also campaign against contractual practices that encourage late payment and damage cash flow.
Trade bodies the comprise the membership of SEC Group Scotland at launch include SELECT, the body for the electrotechnical industry; the Scottish and Northern Ireland Plumbing Employers' Federation (SNIPEF); the Building and Engineering Services Association (B&ES); the Lift and Escalator Industry Association (LEIA); and the British Constructional Steelwork Association (BCSA).
SEC Group Scotland said that creating a single voice for these bodies was ‘a major step forward in advancing collective interests’. Together these trades represent the largest single component (by value) of Scottish construction output, at £2bn.
Chief executive of SEC Group Scotland is Professor Rudi Klein, who has spent many years in construction industry trade associations, representing specialist trades. He said of the new group’s membership: "These are the trades which really bring a building to life. They are the ones who make it function, and they are all highly trained specialists. They account for a significant amount of employment and they make a major contribution to the Scottish economy."
He said that SEC Group Scotland would be strongly recommending the institution of project bank accounts, in which payments due at particular times are paid into the account to create a safety net for the supply chain in the event of a main contractor or other vital party failing.
Prof Klein said: "All trades companies are operating in a complex contractual and financial environment these days and the formation of SEC Group Scotland is a very positive step towards acting in a concerted manner to advance our legitimate interests."