Politicians call on more people to join construction industry

Patricia Gibson MP and Kenny Gibson MSP meet Kier Group apprentices
Patricia Gibson MP and Kenny Gibson MSP meet Kier Group apprentices

Patricia Gibson, MP for North Ayrshire and Arran, and Kenny Gibson, MSP for Cunninghame North, visited the site of Garnock Community Campus last week as part of a week-long campaign to get more people into the construction industry.

The visit was held during Open Doors 2016 (13-18 June), a joint initiative between the Construction Industry Training Board (CITB) and Build UK, that seeks to promote the industry as a positive career choice.

More workers are urgently needed in the industry, as CITB predicts over 21,000 new construction jobs will be created in Scotland over the next five years.

North Ayrshire Council is investing £42.2 million in the new campus to provide educational facilities for early years, primary and secondary pupils, alongside community facilities including a six lane 25m swimming pool and fitness suite.

The construction work is being undertaken by Kier Construction Scotland, who are working in partnership with the council via hub South West Scotland.

Councillor Tony Gurney, cabinet member for place, said: “The Garnock Community Campus is really taking shape now and all the teams involved in the project deserve credit. We’re delighted that it’s being used to promote this campaign.

“The construction industry is a fantastic one to be involved in and developments like this one really highlight that. To be involved in something so meaningful, that will serve generations of young people, is incredibly inspiring.

“We’re proud of our capital investment programme which has seen us commit to spending £275m over the next ten years. That will only help the construction industry prosper and grow in North Ayrshire.”

During the visit Mr and Mrs Gibson met with apprentices working on the site, and heard first-hand what a career in construction can offer for young people. They also learned more about Go Construct, a new website that gives advice and support for anyone thinking about joining the construction industry.

Patricia Gibson MP said: “I was pleased to see how well the campus is coming along. Once completed it will be a superb facility for the community. I was also happy to hear from the apprentices I met about how they have benefited from the experience of working on the site.

“It’s a great example of how projects like this can help to train the next generation of construction workers that we so desperately need in Scotland.”

Kenny Gibson MSP added: “After experiencing Open Doors today, I would encourage everyone thinking of a career in construction to go for it! Construction needs more people coming into the industry to help build Scotland’s schools, bridges and roads.

“The Go Construct website is a fantastic place to start to find out about the variety of careers on offer.”

Michael Lennox, CITB partnerships manager, said: “Open Doors is an excellent way of inspiring more people to consider a career in construction. It is a great opportunity to showcase just how rewarding a career in the sector can be.

“There is no better time than now, with over 21,000 new construction jobs expected to be created in Scotland over the next five years.

“Anyone interested in pursuing a career in construction should visit the industry website – Go Construct.”

Brian McQuade, managing director, Kier Construction Scotland, added: “It was excellent to welcome Patricia and Kenny to our Garnock Community Campus site, to show them the fantastic work that our team is doing, and to discuss some of the key challenges our industry is facing in recruiting and retaining a diverse range of new talent to the industry.

“It is vital that we do all we can to attract the next generation to help us embrace a growing market and new opportunities. Open Doors Week provides us with a great way to showcase the breadth of gender equal career opportunities and highlight the work our industry does to support the Scottish economy, while visitors get to explore the roles that best fit their skills.”

Charlotte McDonnell, skills academy development manager, hub South West, said: “hub South West supports Open Doors on our projects as they create opportunities for all to see behind the scenes on live construction projects across the South West territory.

“By discovering how buildings and structures in their communities are created, young people in particular can find out about the diverse range of skills required in both craft, technical and professional areas on our sites.”

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