New programme tipped to improve training in offsite construction

George Clarke

CONSTRUCTION Scotland Innovation Centre (CSIC), in collaboration with a network of project partners, is launching a new training programme to boost offsite construction.

The Offsite Ready project, which will comprise a series of events and online modules, will be officially launched on 23 April. The project, funded by the CITB, will offer a range of free online learning resources and face-to-face events intended to build capacity in the UK education and skills system, and ensure education providers are well placed to respond to the growth in offsite construction.

CSIC said Offsite Ready will directly engage with employers, training providers, contractors, educational bodies and innovation organisations across the construction industry.  A suite of online training modules will ensure the project outputs are accessible ‘anytime, anywhere’ and will be available to book and download from the Offsite Ready project website.

The project is being led by CSIC and delivered in partnership with MOBIE (Ministry of Building and Education), CWIC (Construction Wales Innovation Centre), Edinburgh Napier University, COGC (City of Glasgow College) and COYO (Class of Your Own).

Topics covered include; Design functions, Procurement functions, Cost management, Project and site management, Onsite logistics and assembly, and Follow on and upstream trades.

George Clarke, MOBIE founder and Channel 4 presenter said, “The Offsite Ready programme is a really exciting way to really move forward with offsite construction which is so important not only to the construction industry but to the future of the built environment, the way we build our places and spaces. It’s amazing how much more efficient and better for the environment building offsite can be, yet in the UK less than 5% of construction uses offsite techniques, compared to around 9% in Germany, 12-15% in Japan and 20% in Sweden. Offsite building can bring the cost of construction down, can offer 30% quicker build time, and is one of the ways the industry can get to net zero carbon emission.”

Stephen Good, chief executive of CSIC added, “The construction industry is facing a period of significant change. At CSIC, we want everyone involved in the construction industry to look to the future and do things better – and that includes tackling our housing shortage through modern, more efficient building techniques, like offsite construction. Key to this is improving the quality and consistency of training in offsite construction.”

Ian Hughes, strategic partnerships director at CITB Scotland commented, “This is a crucial time for the growth of offsite construction in Scotland. The post-Brexit effects of tighter immigration rules mean that government, industry and training providers must work together to lessen its impact on the loss of skills in Scotland. This includes growing investment in the domestic workforce to drive productivity, attract talent and improve home-grown skill levels. The Offsite Ready training modules are a fantastic example of much-needed training in Modern Methods of Construction in Scotland to help our industry thrive into the future.”