Jennie Price took over leadership of the Construction Confederation this week, pledging to make attracting recruits to the industry her top priority. The 39-year-old former director of the Major Contractors Group also wants to raise the profile of the Construction Confederation, and steer through the latest negotiations of the Working Rule Agreement, the industry-wide pay scheme.

Price, who made a name for herself as an effective lobbyist for the MCG, is to adopt the same policy of focusing in on key issues in her new role. “One thing I want to do is have fewer priorities. If you try to input into everything, you risk being ineffective. I want to be able to look back and see what has been achieved,” she said. “We are facing a recruitment crisis at all levels in the industry, from tomorrow’s future leaders to unskilled manual labour,” said Price.

One message Price will be pushing home to firms is that they must make it easier for talented people to move up. In addition, they should try to recruit from other industries. “Running a site requires organisational and motivational skills. You don't necessarily have to have technical expertise.”

Price began her career as a barrister. She became legal adviser to the Heating and Ventilating Contractors Association in 1983, leaving for the Building Employers Confederation in 1990, where she was director of legal and public affairs.