Infrastructure secretary visits Kier to discuss skills gap

Kier Construction
Keith Brown and Brian McQuade

KEITH Brown MSP, Cabinet Secretary for Infrastructure, Investment and Cities, has paid a visit to Kier Construction’s Scottish headquarters in Stepps to discuss how construction operators can work with the Scottish Government to address the skills gap.

Mr Brown and members of the Kier team discussed ways to attract and retain new talent to the industry, including retraining those leaving other industries and working together across the industry to illustrate why construction is an excellent sector with a breadth of career opportunities.

They also talked about how increased outreach work with primary and secondary pupils will help to engage them at an early stage.

In primary schools, Kier supports the Primary Engineering initiative as part of its work with hub South West Scotland, which aims to engage children with engineering through curriculum mapped projects.  In secondary schools, Kier Construction has started rolling out the Adopt a School campaign for design…engineer,,,construct (DEC), which aims to address the lack of young British talent in the built environment, and will be delivered to third and fourth year pupils.

As part of the programme, Kier will share expertise and provide access to teaching, training, workshops and give students experience of live projects, to give an insight into industry and help equip them with the foundations they need to consider a career in the construction industry.

Brian McQuade, managing director of the Scotland and north-east England arm of Kier’s Construction division, said, “We were delighted to welcome Mr Brown to Kier’s Scottish headquarters, introducing him to some of the 200 employees who support our activity across Scotland and sharing our vision of how we can support the continued growth of the Scottish construction sector.

“We have a clear action plan to help reduce skills shortages and we must grow these activity levels over the coming year to help recruit and retain the talent needed to take advantage of the growing number of opportunities in the market.”