Tackling the skills gap for local workforces is vital to ensuring the built environment is energy efficient and sustainable, according to a new report.
The report, which builds on previous research carried out by CITB in 2018, found that the labour market pressure employers have been facing over the last five years looks set to continue. Key issues include high levels of job vacancy postings and intense competition between industries to attract workers.
The south east of Scotland has the largest gap, with the workforce supply in the area of 36,700 well short of the demand of 57,750. As a result, workers are being drawn in from surrounding areas to meet demand.
However, the report also shows that the majority of Scotland’s construction workforce is recruited and developed within the country.
CITB’s research shows that 94% of the workforce were living in Scotland when they started their construction careers and 76% have worked in Scotland for their entire career.
Skills and training
Ian Hughes, CITB engagement director Scotland, said: “The construction industry in Scotland has continued to deliver value to the economy during challenging times. Being able to continue to do that, delivering a built environment in the future that is both energy efficient and sustainable, will require a workforce that is equipped with the appropriate skills and training.
“This is a long-term commitment that has to be facilitated by industry, government and stakeholders working in partnership, backed up with training infrastructure and skills plans to ensure that the workforce for the future is being developed today.”
Across the UK, CITB will focus on three priorities over the coming year:
- Improving construction’s people pipeline;
- Delivering an efficient training supply;
- Creating defined training pathways.
Actions to improve the skills and training provision in Scotland include:
- Continued recruitment and support for modern apprentices via CITB’s managing agency, with a particular focus on highly skilled craft occupations.
- Investment of approximately £30m into Scottish apprenticeships, via direct funding and Skills Development Scotland contract value.
- Expansion of CITB’s quality provider network, working in partnership with the training provider and college networks to ensure training is accessible and up to date with new skills needs.
- Improvements to the quality of leadership and management skills across construction, particularly within SMEs.
- A network of recognised training providers to help employers find training provision suitable for all their needs.
- Significant investments at the National Construction College (NCC) to develop CITB’s facilities and the quality of training delivered.
- Collaboration with Skills Development Scotland’s review of apprenticeships, to help ensure they deliver the skills industry needs and prepares individuals well for a future in construction.
Full details of CITB’s plan for Scotland for 2023-24 can be found in its Nation Plan for Scotland.