MSPs urge contractors to provide more support to local supply chains
A Holyrood committee has called for the strengthening of local supply chains to provide greater protection against shocks to the economy.
A new report from the economy and fair work committee said the move would better support the construction industry through the current raw material shortages and also bring environmental benefits by reducing carbon miles involved in public building projects.
The committee also urged the Scottish Government to be clearer about future planned major projects to avoid creating bottlenecks for firms making investment decisions, which ultimately hinder growth and the development of Scottish products.
While the report welcomes the introduction of the Construction Pipeline Forecast Tool, it says there must be greater effort to publicise this resource and provide clarity as early as possible to industry on the nature and volume of public projects.
Committee convener Claire Baker said: “Disruption to supply chains, unforeseen or otherwise, can have a major impact and we need to ensure action is taken to create resilience and protect our economy.
“Many businesses, public bodies and consumers rely on strong supply chains. We are making recommendations to plan for a skilled workforce to meet Scotland’s needs, a robust transport network which keeps goods moving and a focus on developing and implementing local supply chains.
“The Scottish Government must show leadership in supporting the development of innovative products, including changes to building regulations if required to incentive sustainable alternatives.
“Procurement contracts must be used to support local production and provide more opportunities to strengthen supply chain.
“The committee also calls on the Scottish Government to focus the proceeds from the Scotwind auction to support the development of supply chains in the renewable energy sector and the new technologies necessary to deliver a just transition.”
The report goes on to highlight how Brexit and Covid have placed “significant strain” on supply chains in Scotland, contributing to rising prices.
On HGV driver shortages, it urges the Scottish Government to improve facilities available for HGV drivers, while calling on the UK Government to be clear about whether it will extend the relaxation of working restrictions and visa requirements to ease pressures.