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Construction: Evaluation of Intervention with Clusters and Industries


The Evaluation of Intervention with Clusters and Industries in Scotland aims to be a learning evaluation for Scottish Enterprise (SE) on the policy interventions pursued to date. The research objectives for this study focus on five principal learning areas: the appropriateness of cluster and industry policies and strategies; the rationale of programme selection and design in the light of strategic intent; the efficacy of cluster and industry interventions seeking to improve critical factor inputs; learning lessons and the adaptation and evolution of the approach; and broader SE support and resourcing. This report is one of the fifteen cluster- and industry-specific reports that have been prepared as background to the main report. In relation to the construction industry, the report focuses on: the rationale behind SE involvement in the cluster and the appropriateness of the strategy; how the cluster work has rolled out in practice and in light of expectations; and the lessons learnt and how SE should go forward.


The report has been primarily based on a desk review of the individual clusters and industries - collected and collated by SE and ECOTEC jointly. Around 15 interviews were conducted with SE Glasgow staff, industry representatives, knowledge centres and intermediate institutes. Main findings and conclusions have been tested with independent sector experts and reviews by SE stakeholders.


The case for labelling the industry intervention as a cluster is not obvious because of its lack of exports and cyclical nature. The implementation of the strategy is at an early stage and outputs and outcomes have yet to be generated. The SE Modernising Construction team has successfully set up and facilitated the Scottish Construction Forum (SCF). The selection of Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) will have an important influence on the nature and priority of the work. The ‘Pulling Together’ website does not appear to be well regarded and is in need of improvement. There is a lack of clear information and a degree of politicking about the proposed Scottish Construction Innovation and Excellence Centre. SE’s involvement in other construction skills work is generally well regarded although without a high level of awareness about the activities. Many potential delivery partners are involved in the SCF, making the future possibility of branding their projects and programmes as the work of a wider Scottish Construction strategy a possibility.


The report suggests there is a good opportunity to learn from other clusters on the selection of indicators and the need for firm, regular reporting of progress. The SCF and proposed Centre should consider developing measures of their own performance. These should be publicised and used as a useful way to promote industry credibility. The proposed Scottish Construction Innovation and Excellence Centre should be the route through which more practical activities should occur. The relationship between the Scottish Executive and the SE would benefit from greater clarity. The wide consultation and the strategic nature of the work to date has led to an expectation of early activity and a perception of a lack of activity. The report recommends that once the centre is established there will be greater opportunities for publicising practical activities.

Published Year 2009
Report Type Evaluation
  • Sectors
  • Enterprise
    Sector-level support