Project to recruit more construction assessors relaunched in Scotland

Ian Hughes

A project to train 100 new quality assessors for Scotland’s construction industry has been relaunched.

The two-year project, driven by CITB and ESP, in partnership with 24 Scottish colleges, government agencies and private training providers, was originally unveiled in March but was put on hold due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Recruitment of the new assessors has been tipped to bring more efficient delivery of onsite assessments for apprenticeships and help in the sector’s economic recovery.

The college assessors role will see successful recruits carry out a range of assessment and verification duties. The project forms part of the CITB’s new strategic road map, which will focus on a smaller number of priorities to help modernise construction and increase productivity, collaborating with industry, governments and Further Education (FE).

Assessors will be recruited across a range of areas, including carpentry & joinery, brickwork, painting and decorating, roof slate and tiling, wall and floor tiling, stone masonry, wood machining and plastering.

Colleges and training providers will continue to recruit individually, while the assessor vacancies will be promoted via a national campaign, targeted primarily at individuals working in the construction sector, who may be seeking a career change with the opportunity to help support and deliver the industry’s future workforce.

As part of the project, West College Scotland (WCS) has been selected to deliver bespoke training to new assessors.

Jim Brown, director of ESP, said, “It has been a challenging few months for every industry across Scotland, but we’re excited to be relaunching this campaign at this time. Ensuring we have the construction assessors in place across Scotland will support young people into the construction sector and hence underpin the economic resurgence of the construction industry and secure its future. It will also provide real opportunities for those with experience in the sector who are seeking a new career.

“Becoming an assessor can be a secure and rewarding career choice and the opportunity to shape the next generation of talent.  It is a key role in the success of the construction sector, helping new entrants to gain their qualifications and become highly skilled in their trade. We originally began the recruitment campaign during Scottish Apprenticeship Week 2020 as it seemed like the perfect time to launch the project. The importance and value of Modern Apprenticeships are recognised throughout the country, and they wouldn’t be achievable without the help and support of the assessor role.”

Ian Hughes, CITB partnerships director Scotland, added, “Our evidence-based approach to funding will help the construction industry deliver tailored training and assessment to fulfil Scotland’s skills needs. The Scottish assessors project is a great example of how our work in partnership with training delivery organisations ensures that employers have the right people, with the right skills, in the right place. With an average annual growth rate of 1.4% forecast across 2021-2025 for Scotland, our Construction Skills Network (CSN) report highlights the importance of investing in skills.”

Gordon Nelson, Scotland director at the Federation of Master Builders (FMB), highlighted that many small building firms could hire more apprentices due to a demand from homeowners using the lockdown restrictions as an opportunity to build extensions or make renovations and refurbishments to their properties. He said, “Many of our Master Builder members take great pride in recruiting and training construction apprentices. Our members have high standards, which is why it is important that the new assessors have sufficient skills and knowledge to ensure apprenticeship qualifications are delivered to high standards too.”