The CBI has appointed Gregor Craig, President and CEO of Skanska UK, as Chair of the CBI Construction Council.
Gregor succeeds Sir James Wates CBE, Chairman of Wates Group, who has been Chair of the Construction Council since September 2017.
Gregor has been President and CEO of Skanska UK since May 2017. He joined the business in 2003 and has been a member of its Executive Management Team since 2015.
Gregor said: “It’s a great privilege to be taking on this role, especially at this critical time for the construction industry. We are heading towards a new relationship with the European Union and, although the pandemic has had a well-documented impact, there is also a lot to learn about what the industry can achieve when it is really focused. We need to take the best of that learning and make sure it is part of the template for the future of construction.”
Sir James has steered the CBI's efforts for the construction sector at an unprecedented time, which has included the collapse of the industry’s second largest construction contractor Carillion, the UK leaving the EU and the current coronavirus pandemic.
Despite the challenging period, Sir James and the CBI have worked to ensure the construction industry is a focal point for government spending during the coronavirus pandemic, put the sector front and centre on new UK immigration proposals, and driven forward the CBI's landmark report on financial sustainability in UK construction, Fine Margins.
Sir James said: “It has been my privilege to serve as Chairman of the CBI Construction Council for the past three years. Construction is well known for being a fragmented industry, but we have worked hard to ensure the council is clear on its remit and actively brings together perspectives from across this diverse and amazing sector that is so critical to the UK economy. I am confident that Greg will continue this good work, which is now more important than ever, as we work with the government and the entire business community to deliver what the UK needs to recover from the economic crisis brought on by the pandemic.”
CBI President, Lord Karan Bilimoria, CBE, DL said: "We are delighted that Gregor has accepted the Chair position of the CBI Construction Council. Our standing committees are critical to shaping the CBI’s work on the most important issues for business and the coming years will be absolutely vital for the prosperity of UK plc.
“In Gregor, the Construction Council has another highly-respected business leader who not only cares passionately about the future of the industry, but the professionalism and wellbeing of UK construction workers, as his own company’s commitment to mental health and diversity shows. Skanska is also a market leader in sustainable construction, which will be a defining challenge facing UK construction in the coming decades.”
CBI Director-General Carolyn Fairbairn said: "I would like to thank Sir James Wates for his exemplary leadership of the Construction Council over the last three years. Sir James has worked tirelessly on behalf of this vital sector to the UK economy and we have been hugely grateful for his wise counsel and contribution."
Gregor will formally take over as Chair from 1 November 2020 and remain in post until December 2023. As Chair of the Construction Council, he will sit on the CBI Chairs’ Committee responsible for setting and steering CBI policy decisions.
Notes on Construction Council: The Construction Council brings together senior leaders from UK construction businesses every quarter to discuss and steer the CBI’s policy work for the sector. Focused on influencing macro industry issues, the Construction Council: promotes the role of the construction sector as an economic enabler; helps government create an environment where the sector can thrive; and supports new and better ways of doing business in UK construction.
Notes on Chairs’ Committee: CBI Chairs’ Committee is the top policy committee at the CBI, responsible for setting and steering the CBI policy decisions. This committee is comprised of all the chairs from the CBI Regional and National Councils and sector focused Standing Committees.
Notes on CBI: Across the UK, the CBI speaks on behalf of 190,000 businesses of all sizes and sectors. The CBI’s corporate members together employ nearly 7 million people, about one third of private sector-employees. With offices in the UK as well as representation in Brussels, Washington, Beijing and Delhi, the CBI communicates the British business voice around the world.