22,500 new construction jobs required in Scotland by 2028 to help meet net zero ambitions


NEW research has revealed that 22,500 new construction roles will require to be created in Scotland by 2028 to help meet the Scottish Government’s 2045 net zero aspirations.

Building Skills for Net Zero, published by the Construction Industry Training Board (CITB), reveals the new roles will need to be found through a mix of new skilled jobs, increased efficiencies in existing roles, and innovation in how the industry decarbonises the built environment.

The move to greener construction has been tipped to as an opportunity to make the industry more attractive to new recruits and upskill the existing workforce.

CITB revealed it has modelled the skills profile of the workforce needed to deliver net zero using data from the Climate Change Committee (CCC). This shows that by 2028, additional decarbonisation work will have created the demand for just over 4,600 construction project managers, 1,900 building envelope specialists, and 4,300 plumbers and HVAC specialists.

The organisation added that this opportunity comes alongside the Covid-19 pandemic and an expected rise in unemployed workers coming from other sectors.

CITB’s research shows that reducing built environment emissions to net zero can be achieved if there is an investment in skills, ‘far-reaching skills policy reform’, and an ‘unprecedented’ recruitment drive.

Scottish Government skills minister Jamie Hepburn said, “We are committed to delivering our world-leading ambition to reach net zero by 2045 – and as this research demonstrates, construction is one of the key sectors in our economy that can make a significant contribution to achieving that goal, creating a number of skilled jobs in the process. The Scottish Government’s Climate Emergency Skills Action Plan will help us ensure people have the right skills to support this transition, with our Skills Hub identifying gaps and what we need, and our Green Jobs Workforce Academy focused on giving people the necessary skills required.

“Achieving all of this will take ongoing collaboration and an awareness of construction workers’ evolving training and reskilling needs, and we look forward to continuing to work closely with CITB on this.”

CITB engagement director (Scotland), Ian Hughes, added, “Net zero presents a huge challenge for the construction industry in Scotland. However the challenges are more than outweighed by the opportunities to make the industry cleaner, greener and more productive, more attractive as a career option, and contribute to a cleaner planet. Identifying where skills shortages lie and then designing appropriate pathways will be critical in our journey to net zero. If we do not invest in these skills now, we won’t meet our target. This is not something that industry can tackle alone – it will require cross sector collaboration, and collaboration between industry and government.

“CITB will identify what skills are needed to get the job done, and to work with industry and government to make sure each employer has the skills and training to adapt, and thrive, as the economy changes. How much we can achieve and how quickly we can achieve it will depend on how much we are prepared to invest in new skills. Now the onus is on government to specify what it wants from industry and create the pipeline of demand.”