CITB report reveals importance of addressing local skills gap

CITB report reveals importance of addressing local skills gap

Ian Hughes, CITB engagement director Scotland

Addressing the skills gap for local workforces is vital to support the country’s construction industry to deliver a built environment that is both energy efficient and sustainable, the latest Local Skills Scotland report by the Construction Industry Training Board (CITB) has found.

The report, which builds on previous research carried out by CITB in 2018, is a starting point for work with stakeholders to create regional skills action plans with the aim of maintaining the construction workforce at the right level with the right mix of skills.

The latest report finds that the labour market pressure employers have been facing since 2018 looks set to continue, with high levels of job vacancy postings and intense competition between industries to attract workers.

The South East has the largest gap, with the workforce supply in the area of 36,700 well short of the demand of 57,750. This means workers being drawn in from surrounding areas to meet demand.

However, the report also shows that the majority of the construction workforce is recruited and developed within Scotland. Our 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.

As a result, CITB said it is important that construction companies look to expand their range of recruitment methods, tapping into the full extent of diversity in the local working-age population.

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.”

In Scotland, as throughout the rest of the UK, CITB will focus on three key priorities over the coming year. These are:

  • 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 our 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 the 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 our 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.

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