Top Scottish sites to open doors to public


Captain- Hook and Peter Pan launch Open Doors 2018 at the Peter Pan Moat Brae Trust in Dumfries. Photo Credit: Mark Runnacles Photography

A week-long campaign to attract more people into careers in construction kicks off today, as 19 Scottish construction sites including the new Peter Pan Moat Brae Trust in Dumfries pull back their hoardings to welcome in members of the public.

Open Doors 2018 – which is delivered by Build UK in partnership with CITB – will take place at sites throughout the country between March 19-24.

Suzannah Nichol, Build UK chief executive, said: “Open Doors 2018 is set to be another record-breaking year with lots of fantastic sites opening up across Scotland, England and Wales. Open Doors provides an ideal opportunity for the industry to open its doors and highlight the vast array of jobs and careers available within it.”

The 19 venues include new builds as well as established icons, including the restoration and extension of Dumfries’s new Peter Pan-inspired Family Attraction at Moat Brae, the refurbishment of Edinburgh College of Art, and the construction of 38 new affordable, low carbon homes at Victoria Street in Blantyre on behalf of Clyde Valley Housing Association.

Painting & Decorating NPA student Bethany Dabreo from Lockerbie joins Captain Hook. Photo Credit: Mark Runnacles Photography

Barry Dawson, local manager, CITB Scotland, said: “Open Doors is a fantastic campaign which raises awareness of the importance of the construction industry in Scotland. By inviting members of the public behind the scenes at Scotland’s top construction sites, it demonstrates just what it takes to create the iconic buildings of the future, and how rewarding a career in the industry can be.”

Cathy Agnew, project director, Peter Pan Moat Brae Trust, said: “We are delighted to support Open Doors during the final phase of Works at Moat Brae.  As well as being a family attraction, Moat Brae will play a significant role in the regeneration of Dumfries, championing new opportunities for young people across the whole region. What better way to start by encouraging the young workforce of the future to find out about potential careers as Scotland celebrates 2018 as The Year of Young People. We hope young people will take up the chance to have a sneak peek inside Moat Brae and see all the fabulous work that is going in to reviving this iconic building and its Neverland Discovery Garden.”

Once on site, visitors will gain exclusive access to various aspects of the construction work being carried out, along with tours and presentations. They will also be encouraged to find out more about potential careers in construction at the industry’s careers website –Go Construct.

The event is also supported by the Construction Skills Certification Scheme (CSCS) and Considerate Contractors Scheme (CCS).

The 19 Open Doors sites in Scotland include:

CITB to roll out training model and grant scheme next month

The Construction Industry Training Board (CITB) has announced it will introduce its new training model and grant scheme in April as the organisation sought to reaffirm its commitment to its transformation programme.

The CITB Board met last week to discuss and review the progress made so far to achieve the organisation’s Vision 2020 which it is hoped will modernise and repurpose the construction industry’s training body.

Next month will see the roll-out of its new training model and grant scheme in April which the CITB claims will enable employers to “get the right quality training, in the right place, at the right time” and allow workers to train and retain their qualification record to share with future employers.

The new grant scheme will also enable firms to receive automated grant payments, axing red tape and ensuring much needed training grants reach SMEs and micro firms in particular, the CITB added.

The organisation is expected to release its outsourcing tender towards to end of Match. The CITB is calling this a “key element” of its 2020 Vision programme, which will ensure outsourced services can be agreed, secured and operated effectively by the end of the year.

The training body has also decided to maintain a presence at Bircham Newton in Norfolk until December 2019 to smooth the sale and redevelopment of the site.

“Maintaining CITB’s Head Office presence at Bircham Newton on site until December 2019 will support a more rapid sale of the training college, which we anticipate to commence during the summer of 2018. CITB will then be well placed to go to market on the remainder of the site,” it said.

The adjusted timeline will continue to allow CITB to meet the mandate from industry and government to complete its reform programme by 2020.

Maria Pilfold, employer CITB Board member, said: “After careful consideration at our Board meeting, we decided to a maintain presence at Bircham Newton no later than the end of 2019, recognising a small number of roles which may be needed to oversee final exit arrangements or development.

“CITB will keep its promise to industry to reform, moving to a new single Head Office site in 2020 which is a crucial element of our proposals. This decision offers further clarity to CITB colleagues and will enable the business to start formal consultations with employees in the near future.”

Diana Garnham, independent CITB Board member, added:  “Our change programme has been planned to meet the expectations of both the construction industry and government, who have been clear that the status quo is not an option. Their feedback gave a very clear message that industry and government support depends on CITB’s continuation of change. We are staying on track with our commitment to industry.”

CITB hosts new careers page for former Carillion workers

The Construction Industry Training Board (CITB) is calling on construction employers to offer opportunities to the hundreds of Carillion workers who lost their jobs following the company’s collapse.

A new careers page has been set up on the CITB website, collating job opportunities in each nation and region, to help Carillion staff find new employment.

Currently there are over 100 employers across England, Scotland and Wales offering job opportunities in a wide range of roles. However, with more than 1,000 former Carillion workers having lost their jobs, many more are needed to keep these skilled people in the industry.

Employers to have offered roles in Scotland to date are Realm Construction Ltd, Hatrick-Bruce Ltd, D&A Tiling Ltd, Wates Group and GAP Group.

In the wake of Carillion’s closure, CITB CEO Sarah Beale has joined a UK government taskforce which aims to mitigate the effects of Carillion’s liquidations on the construction industry and the people involved.

CITB has worked with employers and training providers to help the 1400 former Carillion apprentices and, one month on, nearly 200 apprentices have been found college places and a further 725 have been placed with new firms.

Mark Noonan, industry relations director at CITB, said: “News that Carillion had ceased trading was a huge blow for all those involved and we’ve been working hard to minimise the impact. Now, hundreds of workers are looking for a new employer and with our forecast showing a need of 158,000 extra workers over the next five years, it’s vital we retain these highly skilled staff.

“The support shown by employers to date has been outstanding but there’s more to be done and I encourage employers to hire these talented people to help meet your demand.

“If you are a former Carillion worker who is no longer in employment, please go to the CITB website – there are hundreds of job opportunities being displayed each day and one might just be the perfect role for you.”

Construction ‘facing skills black hole’ as CITB confirms training role exit

News that the Construction Industry Training Board (CITB) has confirmed it will end all directing training by 2020, will create a skills black hole and strip the industry of the capability to undertake specialist training, according to the UK’s construction union.

In November, the CITB announced a major restructure during which it would cease to provide training directly and instead seeking other training providers to undertake this work.

Then in a blog post to staff last week CITB chief executive, Sarah Beale, went further and spelled out the ramifications for the industry following the CITB’s decision.

She said: “The plans are to exit all direct training by the beginning of 2020, with the intention to sell these activities ideally as a going concern, where ever feasible… If we cannot sell these activities, then there is a risk that we will need to discontinue and close some business areas.”

The Unite union has argued that much of the specialist construction training undertaken by the CITB is unique and the organisations main facility at Bircham Newton (a former airfield in Norfolk) means that complex training involving heavy equipment, tunnelling, cranes and scaffolding can be easily accommodated.

The sale of the training activities is complex as experts point out that the way the CITB’s training is currently organised means that loss making courses are subsidised by profit making activities, such cross fertilisation is unlikely to interest a private provider, it added.

Unite national officer for construction, Jerry Swain, said: “This reveals that the CITB has no commitment to ensuring that there are the necessary training facilities available to meet the UK’s construction training needs.

“Much of the direct training provided by the CITB is absolutely unique, if no one picks this up there is a real danger that the UK will not have the necessary skilled workforce to maintain a buoyant construction industry.

“The CITB is in danger of becoming a self-serving, self-satisfying organisation that fails to deliver for the needs of the industry it is meant to serve.”

Unite said it will write to the relevant government ministers and their shadow counterparts raising its concerns about the future of construction training given the CITB’s decision.

As well as no longer providing direct training of construction workers, the CITB is also planning on selling its offices in Bircham Newton and London and moving to new premises in the Peterborough area and outsourcing all its back office operations including: IT, human resources and estates.

Third of Carillion apprentices find new work thanks to CITB

Five hundred and fifty-three former Carillion apprentices across Great Britain have received job offers, following intervention by the Construction Industry Training Board (CITB).

A fortnight ago, 1400 apprentices across Great Britain were affected when the construction firm Carillion ceased trading.

Immediately following the news, CITB – in partnership with the government and construction employers – set up a project team to assist with the retention and redeployment of Carillion apprentices.

CITB has contacted over 40,000 construction employers, the vast majority of which have been SMEs, encouraging them to take on Carillion apprentices and created a £1.5 million cash incentive programme for those who do. More than 850 employers have responded and offered job opportunities.

Eleven events were hosted by CITB on January 18 and 19 outlining the support on offer to apprentices in order to help them find new apprenticeship opportunities.

Gillian Cain, head of apprenticeships at CITB, said: “I’m delighted that we’ve been able to help so many former Carillion apprentices, so many small firms have been critical in finding these roles but the job is not done. I want to reassure those who have not yet received job offers that the team at CITB will continue to do everything they can to help apprentices find new employers and get on with their training. We are confident that with industry support we can get all apprentices back on track very soon.”

Employers urged to play their part as CITB steps in to help Carillion apprentices

The Construction Industry Training Board (CITB) is calling on all former Carillion apprentices to get in contact so it can help them continue their training – and for employers to step forward to take them on.

The UK’s second-biggest builder, which employs 20,000 people in the UK and thousands in Scotland, entered liquidation on Monday after racking up debt and pensions burdens of around £1.5 billion.

CITB said it has worked with the Education and Skills Funding Agency (ESFA) to ensure funding is available so that it can continue to support the training for Carillion apprentices.

It has attempted contact with the 1400 apprentices, and hundreds have already been booked in for events being held across the country this week. CITB is offering every former Carillion apprentice a face-to-face session with CITB Apprenticeships to find out their individual learning needs. Many more need to be contacted so they can take up the career lifeline CITB is offering them through its offer of support.

The Carillion apprentices were primarily in bricklaying and carpentry and joinery – skills that the country vitally needs to build homes and solve our housing shortage.

For this reason, CITB is also calling on construction employers – particularly homebuilders, as many of the skills are applicable and in demand for that sector – to rally round and take on the former Carillion apprentices.

A hotline has been set up for both former Carillion apprentices to get in touch, and for construction employers who are interested in helping them.

The phone number is: 0344 994 4010 and there is also an email for people to contact CITB’s dedicated support team.

The apprentices were being trained in Carillion centres through England and Scotland, with some of the bigger centres based in Birmingham, Glasgow, Liverpool, Manchester, Sunderland, Sittingbourne and Southampton.

CITB hopes to start placing the first apprentices with new employers as early as next week as the construction sector looks to recover from the collapse of its second biggest firm.

Sarah Beale, chief executive of CITB, said: “We understand it’s a very worrying time for the young people who were on the Carillion apprenticeship programme, but we can help them restart their training and get their careers back on track if they get in touch with us. Our industry needs the skills these young people are developing and we want to help them find new employers and get their qualifications.

“Our industry, which has consistently reported skill shortages and difficulties in attracting apprentices, now needs to step up and support these young people who have so much to offer. There is certainly no shortage of work in construction, with housebuilding and infrastructure particularly strong, so these young people can have great careers despite this setback.

“At CITB, we are committed to doing everything we can to help the former Carillion apprentices, and hope to see many of them restarting their careers very soon.”

Scottish companies affected by the Carillion insolvency can call Scottish Enterprise on 0300 013 3385 or register their details here.

The redundancy helpline operated by Skills Development Scotland is 0800 917 8000, with help also available here.

Contingency plans take hold in wake of Carillion collapse

Carillion is part of a coalition delivering the Aberdeen Western Peripheral Route (AWPR)

Clients and joint ventures partners of collapsed contractor Carillion have taken steps to begin contingency plans after the firm entered compulsory liquidation today.

An application was made to the High Court for a compulsory liquidation of the UK’s second largest construction company before opening of business this morning after talks with the UK government to save the company were unsuccessful.

The firm had been involved in the £745 million Aberdeen Western Peripheral Route (AWPR) and had contracts with Registers of Scotland, the Scottish Children’s Reporter Administration, West of Scotland Housing Association and NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde among many others.

Network Rail awarded Carillion a contract last year to deliver platform extension works and the firm is also responsible for two facilities management contracts worth £158m with the Ministry of Defence (MoD) which cover 83 military sites in Scotland.

Contingency plans have now been put into effect with the hope to minimise disruption to the projects.

Galliford Try is in joint venture with Carillion and Balfour Beatty on the construction of the £550m section of the AWPR between Balmedie and Tipperty for Transport Scotland.

“The Scottish Government are in discussions with the liquidators and the UK government to support Carillion employees and secure the completion of contracts.”

Economy secretary Keith Brown

Galliford Try said: “The terms of the contract are such that the remaining joint venture members, Balfour Beatty and Galliford Try, are obliged to complete the contract.  Our current estimate of the additional cash contribution outstanding from Carillion to complete the project is £60-80m, of which any shortfall will be funded equally between the joint venture members. The companies will discuss the position urgently with the official receiver of Carillion and Transport Scotland, to minimise any impact on the project.”

A Transport Scotland spokesman reiterated the bypass project will be completed by the spring.

He said: “We expect that any impact on the AWPR will be mitigated by the fact that Carillion’s construction partners are joint and severally liable and as such, the other two construction partners remain fully responsible for the completion of the works.

“Aberdeen Roads Limited, the construction joint venture for the project, confirmed recently that they remain committed to the delivery of this project.”

Amey has incorporated joint ventures with Carillion to deliver the regional prime and national housing contracts for the MoD, through the Defence Infrastructure Organisation (DIO). These contracts maintain the MOD estate in the UK.

It said: “The terms of the joint ventures’ arrangements mean that Amey will continue the services now that Carillion has announced it is entering into immediate compulsory liquidation. Amey is committed to doing this and ensuring continuity of service to the DIO and MOD and the service men and women in the UK.

“For the past few weeks, Amey has been working on detailed contingency plans with the DIO and the Cabinet Office to ensure it can effectively continue to manage the contracts and these are being implemented today.

“Amey confirms it is fully prepared to continue the service obligation of the contracts without adverse effect on the employees of the joint ventures or the supply chain.”

Network Rail commissioned Carillion for both the Waverley platforms extension project and the electrification of the railway line through Shotts.

In addition, the firm was also contracted for platform works at Broughty Ferry and Aberdeen railway stations.

Carillion Powerlines secured an £11.6m contract to carry out electrification work on the Shotts line in December

A Network Rail spokesman said: “We are activating our contingency plans as a result of this unfortunate news.

“We will be working closely with the administrators and Carillion’s management team to ensure projects that they are working on continue and that the supply chain is maintained for this important work.

“Our aim is to ensure that this news has as little impact as possible on our projects to grow and expand the railway network.”

Kier Group, which currently operates joint ventures involving Carillion on HS2 and the Highways England smart motorways programme, jobs, will now have to take them on alone or seek a new partner.

A Kier spokeswoman said: “We have put in place contingency plans for each of these projects and are working closely with clients so as to achieve continuity of service.

“Following today’s announcement and after a short period of transition for these contracts, we do not expect there to be an adverse financial impact on the group arising from these joint venture contracts.”

The Construction Industry Training Board (CITB) said that it was “taking steps to secure the future of the 1,400 Carillion apprentices” by redeploying them to other firms.

CITB chief executive, Sarah Beale, said: “The news of Carillion entering insolvency is clearly a significant blow to the UK construction sector. While this will present the sector with a number of challenges, CITB’s priority is to do all it can to ensure that Carillion apprentices can continue their training so their skills are not lost.

“We have established a project team to work with the apprentices and will be offering in principle grant and apprenticeship transfer incentives to our employer base in order to retain these learners. We will be working closely with the ESFA, the official receiver and our network of college providers so that every possible support is in place to help these apprentices continue their training. We will be liaising with the official receiver with a view to contacting the apprentices as soon as possible.”

The Scottish Government said it is in talks to support Carillion employees and secure the completion of contracts in Scotland.

Cabinet secretary for the economy, Keith Brown, said: “Our first thoughts are with those Carillion employees who will be concerned for their jobs today and we are in discussions with the liquidators and the UK government regarding the measures they intend to put in place regarding private sector, Network Rail and UK govternment-backed contracts in Scotland to support Carillion employees and to secure the completion of these contracts.

“The Scottish Government has been working to manage or eliminate risks associated with Carillion’s difficulties since July last year and we have contingency plans in place for affected contracts, including the AWPR where the contract contains a mechanism for the remaining two joint venture partners to deliver the project and we expect that work to continue.

“I have spoken to the Secretary of State for Scotland this morning and my officials have also spoken with PwC to establish the situation and should it be necessary we stand ready to support for any affected employees through our Partnership Action for Continuing Employment (PACE) initiative which aims to minimise the time individuals affected by redundancy are out of work.”

CITB to quit direct training delivery under radical new strategy

Sarah Beale

Sarah Beale

The Construction Industry Training Board (CITB) is to end the delivery of direct training and step back from operating its National Construction College site in Inchinnan as part of a “bold new strategy” for its future offer.

The announcement, which follows calls to reform from across the sector, will see the skills body “exit direct delivery of training through the National Construction College and cease services such as administering the card schemes”.

Proposals also include moving head office functions currently based in Bircham Newton, Norfolk and London to a new site in the Peterborough area and outsourcing all back office operations including IT, human resources and estates.

CITB chief executive Sarah Beale said its Vision 2020: The Future CITB strategy will help the organisation “become simpler, more streamlined” and become the “strategic, forward-looking and agile skills body that the industry is seeking”.

The CITB has made the announcement of massively reducing its activities within weeks of completing its triennial review of the organisation’s right to continue to collect a statutory construction levy from employers.

Although construction employers and trade associations voted for the levy to continue there was heavy criticism of how the CITB currently operates.

As a result, CITB said its new three-year strategy will see the organisation become a “commissioner of outcomes that delivers the industry’s core priorities”. The Future CITB will use Levy money to ensure a “sustainable training and development market, only intervening to provide a service where it is unavailable on the market, or not to the quality level that is sought”.

Sarah Beale said: “Construction needs to modernise and CITB is no exception. We accept the challenges laid down by industry and Government and we will deliver a future-fit training body by adapting and updating our business model.

“Some really tough decisions could be made under these proposals but I’m confident in our commitment to becoming a more representative, accountable and reliable ‘levy in, skills out’ organisation. We now have a clearly defined path, and we see a bright future for a modern, engaged CITB. We look forward to working with our industry and government to build a better Britain.”

In Scotland, the CITB said it would step back from operating its NCC site in Inchinnan under the proposals. However, the plan is to continue training at the site until a buyer is found. At that point, the CITB revealed, a new provider would take over construction training so that there is a “seamless” transition.

CITB will also maintain its support for the Modern Apprenticeship programme in Scotland.

Plans include a move for the CITB’s current head office in Norfolk, with Peterborough a likely new base. There will be small offices in London, Scotland and Wales to help deliver sector partnerships. CITB said around two-thirds of the workforce will “remain mobile” in order to be closer to customers.

The plans also include outsourcing of internal corporate support functions and customer operations by the end of 2018.

Sarah Beale added: “I understand this strategy will bring about big changes to employees at CITB and we will be supporting our colleagues as much as possible throughout this process. These are tough calls to make, but needed if we are to meet the future demands and make the greatest impact to construction.  We have worked hard to develop robust, well thought-out plans which meet our industry’s needs whilst building a solid foundation for CITB’s future. The proposals outlined today will be phased in over the next three years, and with our customers always in mind it’s business as usual.”

Construction union Unite describe the move as a “hammer blow” for the industry which will put a large number of jobs at risk of redundancy or outsourcing.

Unite national officer for construction, Jerry Swain, said: “These plans are a hammer blow for the construction industry and for the workers at the CITB.

“Thousands of construction workers owe their careers and their livelihoods to the unique training they have received at Bircham Newton.

“There are grave doubts if any private provider could or would provide the same level of training at the same cost, which is currently provided at this unique facility.

“It appears that the ‘reforms’ being proposed by the CITB are all about increasing profits for individuals and companies and not what is in the best interests of the construction industry.

“Construction is already facing a skills crisis and it is quite impossible to see how the CITB’s decision to end its role in providing training is not going to simply make a bad situation worse.

“The government must step in to ensure that these vitally important tutors and training facilities are not lost and that training is not downgraded.”

Unite regional co-ordinating officer, Mark Robinson, added: “These proposals essentially would slash trash and privatise the CITB.

“The likelihood of finding a training provider willing and capable to take on the National Construction College function of the Bircham Newton site and other NCC sites across the country is difficult to ascertain and puts hundreds of jobs at serious risk.

“Unite believes it is totally unnecessary to go to this level of change. For the CITB not to provide their own training on behalf of industry leaves the market wide open for less capable and reputable organisations to drive down the quality and standards that the industry expects.

“Unite will be seeking the views of its members to see what action can be taken to defend the hundreds of jobs not only in West Norfolk but throughout the country.”

CITB responds to industry and government calls for reform

Sarah Beale

Sarah Beale

The Construction Industry Training Board (CITB) has revealed it fully supports the conclusions of a recently-published independent review of the training body and has outlined a new agenda for change in response to calls for reform.

The Industrial Training Board (ITB) Review, an independent process led by Paul Morrell working with three industry departments, concluded that while the CITB’s levy-raising powers is still the right model for the construction industry, reform and improvement are needed.

Building Support: the review of the industry training boards sets out a series of reforms, including making the CITB board more representative of the small businesses that make up the vast majority of employers in the sector.

The report stated that the effectiveness of ITBs must be judged by whether firms can recruit, retain and develop people with the skills and knowledge they need.

Following the publication, the CITB has set out its Agenda for Change, a six-point plan for reform throughout 2018. It includes a commitment to be more accountable, representative and responsive to industry’s needs.

Following the ITB Review, the UK government will:

  • Encourage the ITBs to adopt a set of principles, including open decision making, and a focus on delivery only where there is market failure or the need for collective action
  • Appoint to the CITB Board people with direct experience of small business, and a new CITB Chair when James Wates steps down from the role as planned next year
  • Set out a process for regular reviews of the scope of the ITBs. This will allow industry to make sure that CITB’s work reflects changing developments in the sector.

Directly addressing the recommendations stated in the ITB Review, the CITB has committed to:

  • Becoming a streamlined organisation focusing on the areas where it is best placed to make a difference in the areas of careers, standards and qualifications, and training and development
  • Renewed governance, increased transparency on outcomes, and greater accountability regarding their achievement. This will include increased representation of smaller firms in CITB’s governance and much greater engagement with key decision-makers in our industry
  • An effective, sustainable business model with the emphasis on influencing, partnering, funding and commissioning, and directly delivering only by exception
  • Better value for levy payers, with a reformed Levy-in, Skills-Out grants scheme
  • A greater focus on supporting construction to modernise and boost productivity, working closely with the Construction Leadership Council (CLC) on skills needed to deliver the sector
  • Restructure the CITB Council and National Committees, starting early in 2018
  • Establish a new, cross-sector group, reporting to ministers and the CLC, to provide leadership on apprenticeships for the construction industry.

Responding specifically to the ITB Review’s call to report to Ministers and the CLC by next spring on the actions needed to ensure apprenticeship meet the future needs of the industry, CITB announced that it will create a new executive industry group, which will be led by a senior industry figure.

It also emphasised that it will work closely with employers, FE and government to overcome the barriers to delivering the high quality work placements that will ensure students for the new T-levels progress into construction.

James Wates, chairman of CITB and Wates Group, said: “Without doubt, 2017 has been a challenging year for CITB. But with the support of Government and industry, we now have stability and clarity on the way ahead.  A massive programme of change is in store at CITB, to reform the organisation into the efficient, accountable, transparent body the industry needs to help build a better Britain.”

In response to calls for reform from both industry and government, CITB has set out its Agenda for Change, six key outcomes that it will deliver over the next 12 months. It is a tool for industry and government to understand CITB’s commitment to reform and hold it accountable for delivering the first phase of our three year reform programme, Future CITB – Vision 2020.

The objectives are:

  1. Be accountable

Through national campaigns, transparent strategic planning and a new outcomes focus you’ll help shape what we do, how we do it and see it happen.

  1. Be representative

Through strong partnerships, renewed governance and improved accountability we will be more representative of our industry.

  1. Be relevant

By modernising, changing the way we do business and providing the support that you need – building an insight base, creating a high-quality standards framework, advocating, engaging and influencing to ensure training provision.

  1. Be responsive

By reforming our Grants Scheme, making payments easier and more accessible, and using our resources to support a sustainable, responsive and high-quality training and development market.

  1. Be innovative

Ensure our resources are focused on getting the market working, creating an outcomes-orientated business that is agile, flexible and strategic, delivering on the outcomes that matter to our industry.

  1. Be influential

Build engaging, dynamic partnerships that offer creative and innovative responses to industry’s big challenges – from closing the skills gap to advocating for construction careers.

Sarah Beale, chief executive of CITB, added: “The ITB Review echoes what our industry has told us it wants from a future CITB. We fully support its conclusions. We’ve heard the calls for change loud and clear so now, we look ahead to some tough but vital decisions to become the ‘levy in, skills out’ organisation that our industry needs. I appreciate the backing of government and of industry as we start on the journey of transforming CITB.”

Robertson helps showcase construction industry at Build Your Future event

Job Centre Plus clients are joined by Job Centre Plus, Robertson and CITB employees

Job Centre Plus clients are joined by Job Centre Plus, Robertson and CITB employees

Robertson Group has joined forces with the Construction Industry Training Board (CITB) and Job Centre Plus to offer ten people an introduction to the industry.

The taster session, held at Robertson’s £35 million Stirling Care Village, supports the Build Your Future programme introduced in 2016 by CITB and Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) to help increase access into construction as well as raise industry skill levels.

The group of potential applicants first received a tour of the development, which, once complete, will comprise of two new purpose-built facilities – a Care Hub and a Primary and Urgent Care Centre – to help deliver better co-ordinated care to local people.

They then visited the on-site Training Zone to watch demonstrations of the wide range of skills required within the industry, including bricklaying and mono-blocking, before being given the chance to try their hand at the activities themselves.

A Job Centre Plus client tries his hand on-site

A Job Centre Plus client tries his hand on-site

Employees of Robertson Central East – the main contractor at Stirling Care Village – were on hand to provide support.

David Cairns, managing director, Robertson Central East, said: “It’s of the highest importance to Robertson to engage with bodies such as Job Centre Plus to make sure the opportunities within the built environment industry are on their radar.

“These sessions are critical in allowing anyone with an interest to identify areas that they would like to pursue while also building an understanding of what the role involves as well as any training and progression opportunities.

“Our support for Build Your Future forms part of a number of wider initiatives and programmes we have in place to ensure the future of the construction industry is safeguarded.”

A client gets pratical at Stirling Care Village

A client gets pratical at Stirling Care Village

Ian Hughes, CITB Scotland partnerships director, said: “The Build Your Future campaign is a great example of effective partnership working to help attract more people into exciting and rewarding careers in construction.

“We’re working closely with industry and the DWP to deliver this year’s campaign, having been very encouraged by its success as a pilot last year.

“Along with Robertson’s taster session in Stirling, Build Your Future offers a variety of local events and activities via construction employers throughout the country, such as work placements, employability workshops and mock interviews.

“With over 150 different careers available – from drone operators to landscape architects, BIM managers to traditional stonemasons, there really is a career in construction for everyone. Our GoConstruct website has a host of information for anyone who might be interested.”