CITB and SDS partnership tipped to deliver benefits for both apprentices and employers

Ian Hughes

THE CITB and Skills Development Scotland have teamed up to enhance partnership working on key areas of the provision of construction skills.

The move has been tipped to bring benefits for apprentices, employers and the wider construction industry.

Construction employers throughout Scotland have already benefited from the Apprentice Employment Grant (AEG) with 488 apprentices being recruited via CITB’s management agency. The collaboration between CITB and SDS has also resulted in £2.3 million additional investment into construction as part of the AEG recruitment incentive.

Research last year by the CITB indicated a high number of employers had made plans to cancel or greatly reduce their normal recruitment intake. However, AEG funding along with support for an industry-backed ‘pathways to construction’ course for youngsters unable to secure an apprenticeship has helped the industry to attract almost 80% of the normal intake.

Elaine Ellis, skills planning manager at Skills Development Scotland, said, “This is a welcome opportunity to build upon the productive relationship between CITB and SDS to ensure we provide the right help to businesses of all sizes across the sector and to its workforce – including apprentices. With employers having faced so much disruption in recent years it’s the right time to pause and explore how best to work together so that our collective efforts serve the construction sector as best we can. Everyone at SDS looks forward to continuing our work with CITB.”

Ian Hughes, CITB engagement director, added, “I’m delighted to announce the strengthening of CITB’s partnership with SDS. CITB and SDS have an effective, long-standing relationship which has grown stronger over the past five years. This has been through working together on the provision of construction apprenticeships, research, careers engagement, industry support for recovery, and a commitment to reduce skills gaps across Scotland.

“This agreement seeks to reflect the collaborative work undertaken for the benefit of the industry and to enhance partnership working on the provision of construction skills. The success of the AEG shows the commitment Scottish employers have to attracting new blood to their workforce each year – even in extraordinary times like these.”