Working group formed to ensure long-term future for housebuilding skills

Professor Sean Smith will chair the new working group

The Scottish Government is to work with key stakeholders to ensure the right skills are available for housing and construction developments.

A short life working group on housing construction skills will meet for the first time on Thursday, bringing together organisations with expertise in skills, housing and construction.

The group will be chaired by Professor Sean Smith, director of sustainable construction at Napier University. It will gather evidence about the skills requirements and challenges facing the industry and make recommendations towards the end of this year.

The group’s first meeting is set to discuss draft terms of reference with tasks expected to include:

  • consider home building skills provision, gaps, and workforce development needs
  • assess available data to objectively make recommendations on the actions needed to tackle immediate priorities

  • agree longer term approaches that enables industry and the Government to plan with clarity for future skills needs
  • Housing minister Kevin Stewart said: “We are committed to delivering at least 50,000 affordable homes over this Parliament, backed by £3 billion – the single biggest investment, and delivery of, affordable housing since devolution.

    “That is expected to support up to 14,000 full-time equivalent jobs across housing and construction. Our short-life working group, delivered in partnership with industry, will help inform the actions needed to ensure we have the necessary workforce continue to increase the supply of affordable homes across Scotland.

    “I am delighted that Professor Sean Smith has agreed to chair the group, bringing with him a wealth of expertise in skills mapping. Together with key stakeholders from across the construction and housing sectors, ensure the right skills are available for house building across Scotland.”

    Professor Smith added: “I am delighted to chair the group for future housing and construction skills. Housing plays a crucial role for our communities and the delivery of economic and inclusive growth, with the sector is highly dependent on skilled workforce supply at all levels.

    “As the sector moves forward to deliver the future homes this will require traditional and new types of skill sets. The group will have the opportunity to hear from industry organisations and companies on the key skills and training they require for the future.”

    The full membership of the group



    Dr Sean Smith (Chair)

    Napier University

    Calum Murray


    Stephen Good


    Rohan Bush


    John Keenan


    Vaughan Hart

    Scottish Building Federation

    Gordon Nelson

    FMB Scotland

    Audrey Cumberford

    West College Scotland

    John Renwick

    Energy Skills Partnership

    Susan Hudson

    Stewart Milne

    Alan Cadenhead

    Miller Homes

    Heather Henderson

    Springfield Properties

    Diane Kemp

    Springfield Properties

    Colin Culross

    Link Group

    Karen Campbell

    Homes for Scotland

    Michael Barton-Maynard

    Homes for Scotland

    Stephen Sheridan

    Skills Development Scotland

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