Free guide aims to help Scottish construction firms drive digital capabilities

Saffron Grant

THE Scottish Construction Leadership Forum (CLF) is launching a new guide designed to help construction companies access funding and business support to help improve their digital capabilities.

The guide is one of the actions from the Scottish Government-funded CLF Recovery Plan of actions aligned with SG policies and the Construction Scotland Industry Strategy.

It has been produced by the Forum’s digital strategy steering group following research by one of its members – Digital Construction Skills (DCS) – which showed a need to help businesses access available support on their digital journey.

Saffron Grant, MD of DCS, explained, “We can help, free of charge, any construction business quickly work out what is most relevant to them regardless of whether they are CITB registered or whether it is for digital construction support or more general upskilling or business improvement.”

SMEs are encouraged to use the guide to take up opportunities to build their digital capability and get support to use digitalisation to drive savings and growth. Introducing digital working, from booking systems to the more advanced robotics and building information modelling (BIM), has been tipped help businesses improve their quality, safety, productivity and profits.

Michael Lennox, partnership manager at CITB, added, “There is Grant Eligible Training for all sorts of digital skills including drones, laser scanners, GNSS, robotic total station, 3D mapping and modelling software, 3D machine control and BIM. This means the full costs could be claimed through the CITB Skills and Training Fund.”

Lynsey Brydson, head of digital programmes at CSIC, commented, “The guide maps out different sources of funding including for training, free mentoring and the Digital Development Loan, an interest free loan of up to £100k from the Scottish Government.”

The digital strategy steering group has teamed up with hub South West, Skills Development Scotland, CITB and a number of trade bodies and professional associations to create and promote the guide.

Mark Houston, supply chain development manager at hub South West, said, “There are over 50,000 enterprises in the construction sector in Scotland which stand to benefit if the digital capability of the supply chain is enhanced. We recognise the critical role that Tier 1 contractors can play in driving transformation, and we are pleased that companies such as Morgan Sindall, Kier Construction, Morrison Construction and McLaughlin and Harvey are going to help disseminate this document to their supply chain companies.”

The guide is available to download at Digital Construction Skills website.