Ratcliffe will head up the new UK Contractors Group which will be launched in January

Stephen Ratcliffe has stepped down as chief executive of the construction confederation to lead the UK Contractors Group, a new industry body to be launched next year.

The UK Contractors Group, which will be launched in January, will be led by Stephen Ratcliffe as director and, as previously reported, James Wates as chairman.

Both Ratcliffe and Wates have now stepped down from their roles at the Construction Confederation, where Wates was chairman.

The Construction Confederation has appointed Manus Adamson, chairman of Adamson Group, as its executive chairman. Although the body is being scaled back, with a number of employees in consultation over redundancies, the body said in a statement today it would continue to represent its members on pan industry initiatives including pay negotiations through the Construction Industry Joint Council.

The UKCG will include the Major Contractors group and the National Contractors Federation. Its founders hope it will eventually become the main industry trade body, working in close partnership with the newly created CBI construction council.

The CBI council will concentrate on general business issues including the economy, procurement and labour market flexibility, while UKCG will focus on issues which are specific to the construction industry.

James Wates said: “At a time when economic conditions are becoming more challenging we need a voice that will be heard above the fray. This is the first step in delivering a single voice for the industry. I urge everyone who has been frustrated by industry fragmentation to come and join us.”

The Construction Confederation’s new chair, Manus Adamson, said: “The Construction Confederation is going through a period of inevitable realignment as industry representation settles into a new shape following the creation of the CBI Construction Council and the transformation of the MCG and NCF into the UK Contractors Group.”

“Construction is a dynamic industry and it is to be expected that there will be changes from time to time in the way it is represented; I view these changes as an opportunity for the industry to emerge with a more powerful voice”.