CITB vows to support training and address key challenges in Scotland

THE CITB has revealed that supporting construction businesses while ensuring new recruits are welcomed into the industry are the key goals of the organisation’s plan for 2021/22 for Scotland.

Across Britain, CITB said some £140 million of industry Levy will be invested in 2021/22 to train and in employer support and services. This will be targeted at industry ‘priorities’ to ensure that Levy in means skills out.

The key investments for Scotland include grants, training and apprenticeship support to help with immediate needs, supporting new workers and learners, work placements to improve the skills landscape, and addressing new challenges including Brexit, digital skills, net zero and climate change.

CITB added that Scotland’s average recruitment requirement of 1.9% per year, based on estimated 2021 workforce, is slightly higher than the UK figure of 1.5%. This means the Scottish construction industry would have to increase current recruitment by over 4,400 new workers each year to deliver the expected work.

Maureen Douglas, chair of Scotland Nation Council, said, “This plan shows that we’re listening to the industry and investing in what it has told us is most important. We’re targeting Levy money at fewer initiatives to ensure that industry funds work hard to tackle priority issues, addressing both future needs and current challenges. Our work to support the industry will help employers to attract and retain talent, making it easier for new starters, while helping to develop their skills to ensure they can enjoy a rewarding career in construction.”

Ian Hughes, CITB strategic partnership director (Scotland), added, “Scotland’s construction industry has bounced back better than expected since the start of the pandemic, and it’s heartening that 71% of employers say order books are up. Most Scottish construction employers (81%) are now fully operational, which is higher than in England (72%). Faster growth means more skills are needed and we’ve worked closely with the Scotland Nation Council to agree the best way to meet them.

“Scottish employers have always taken a proactive approach to training, so it’s great news that 32% of employers expect to do more training. In order to meet net zero and other targets, the sector will need to recruit an additional 4,400 jobs each year, so it’s also welcome that some 21% of employers in Scotland are planning to start an apprenticeship in the next 12 months, higher than the GB-wide figure of 15%.”