SIR Tom Farmer has launched a ground breaking new technical academy offering qualifications across a wide range of construction disciplines.
The move comes as a survey indicates almost half of employers are facing problems finding suitably skilled technicans and engineers.
Technical Academy Scotland, established in collaboration with vocation training company Edutrain, has been founded to provide academic training to support the delivery of high level technical and professional modern Apprenticeships in civil engineering and related disciplines. Programmes will be offered that cater for both young technician apprentices and for adult learners on route to professional recognition.
There have been warnings of dire skills shortages within the sector. A survey by Technical Academy Scotland of employers in construction and civil engineering showed that while 60% of respondents had confidence in the Scottish construction industry, almost half (46%) said they were facing difficulties finding suitably skilled workers.
Many find it tough to access financial support for the development of employees and see the complexity of progressing towards professional recognition as a significant barrier to development.
This is borne out by other evidence indicating the UK needs to double the pipeline of new recruits into engineering, construction and the manufacturing professions by 2020 to avoid a skill shortage.
Richard McClelland, founder and director of Technical Academy Scotland, said, “We are conscious that the circumstances for people to acquire the right skills is often challenging and our unique offering will blend the theory and practice to meet the needs of those who want to learn.”
Sir Tom Farmer said, “If we want world class infrastructure in the future, we must take action to ensure we have a work class workforce to deliver it now.
“Technical Academy Scotland will assist in the delivery of a skilled workforce, investing in the training necessary to upskill our workforce.”