CITB’s Strategic Plan aims to help attract thousands more people into Scottish construction sector

Tony Elliott

SUPPORTING training and retraining, improving productivity, and making it easier to help employers bring in new recruits to the Scottish construction industry have been described as key elements of CITB’s newly launched Strategic Plan.

The training body revealed it will focus on a smaller number of priorities to help modernise the sector and increase productivity, collaborating with industry, governments and Further Education (FE).

CITB added that as well as providing direct support to employers, the organisation will use this period to help ‘fix’ the system, making it easier to bring new workers into the industry and access training.

In Scotland, CITB said it will work with partners to ensure the nation’s construction recovery plan has skills and workforce development ‘at the heart of industry recovery’ over the coming years. The body will work with Skills Development Scotland and the Developing the Young Workforce network to promote My World Of Work and Marketplace, showcasing the industry to potential recruits.

In Scottish schools, CITB will collaborate with the Skills Development Scotland Apprentice Network, while working with more than 300 careers advisers.

Between 2021 and 2025, CITB revealed that the levy will be invested across Britain to:

  • Support 28,000 taster experiences of construction and in Go Construct to help potential new entrants understand the opportunities in construction and how to access them
  • Give 19,000 people onsite experience to prepare them to start work in construction through onsite hubs
  • Create a new pathway between further education and employment available to 8,000 learners, including 1,600 apprenticeship starts as well as more learners starting jobs in construction
  • Raise the share of apprentices completing their programmes from 60% to 70% through allocating £110 million to support learners and employers on top of grant support
  • Help employers to invest in training initially to rebuild after the pandemic but increasingly to modernise and raise productivity through the Grants Scheme and other funding. This will see over £500 million (77% of levy) of funding to employers
  • Support employers to modernise by identifying the key competencies required, including those that support digitalisation

Sarah Beale, CITB chief executive, said, “The recovery presents construction with big challenges but also major opportunities to do things differently and bring a wider range of new workers into the industry. Our Strategic Plan will support employers to realise these opportunities by helping fix the system that brings people into work and supporting them to do the training they need.

“We will focus on a small number of areas such as providing new entrants with information and experiences, creating a new pathway from Further Education into apprenticeships and a job, and boosting the numbers of apprentices completing their programmes. We will also help employers to train by addressing gaps in provision, making training accessible and targeting funding where it’s needed, including through the Grants Scheme. Over time, a greater share of this will support employers to modernise and raise productivity.”

Tony Elliott, group HR director for Robertson Group, and a former chair of CITB’s Scotland National Council, who has recently joined the CITB board as a trustee, commented, “Scottish construction has undergone unprecedented change this year, and CITB’s Strategic Plan rightly champions different organisations working together to address the recruitment and skills issues that the industry will continue to face. Our sector can offer a bright future in varied and rewarding careers for Scotland’s young people just when they need this most.”