Ian Lucas asks trade body bosses to suggest candidates for £120,000-a-year chief adviser role

The government has called on industry organisations to help draw up a shortlist of potential candidates for the role of chief construction adviser.

Ministers confirmed on Tuesday that the part-time position would be created, and that an individual would be appointed by November. It is believed that the adviser will be paid £120,000 a year for working three days a week.

The post has been modelled on that of the chief scientific adviser, and is a change from the original idea of a chief construction officer who would sit within the civil service.

Construction minister Ian Lucas has written to heads of industry trade bodies asking them to identify possible candidates. The government said it already had some candidates in mind.

Stephen Ratcliffe, the UK Contractors Group director, said: “We’re in touch with chief executives to identify appropriate candidates.”

We want them to be able to troubleshoot, not just advise and be ignored

Stephen Ratcliffe, UKCG

The announcement received a mixed response. Some industry figures claim the part-time position would leave the chosen candidate with little power.

“We’re disappointed it’s a part-time role because we think there’s a full-time job to do,” Ratcliffe said. “We want them to be able to troubleshoot, not just advise and be ignored.”

However, Graham Watts, chief executive of the Construction Industry Council, said the part-time status would work in the industry’s favour. He said: “It will appeal to the right kind of senior figure, who can keep his foot in the industry door.”

The adviser will answer to the business and innovation department and the Treasury.

It is understood applications will be made within three weeks, followed by interviews in October.