Scotland’s construction sector is to receive a £5.4 million training boost in an effort to combat the industry skills gap.
The Construction Industry Training Board (CITB) will pump the seven-figure sum into attracting, training and retaining skilled workers by creating three Scottish hubs, as part of a plan to target rural and “left behind” areas.
These will provide tailored training in trades where particular shortages have been identified and connect new talent with educators and employers in the local region.
CITB said the move represents “an historic investment”, with a target of helping 4,500 people become site-ready for construction employers in the next five years.
The Scottish construction sector requires 13,950 skilled people to enter the industry during this period, with the sector forecast to grow by 0.5 per cent, according to a CITB report. A total of 20 hubs will be established across Scotland, England and Wales.
CITB chief Sarah Beale said: “We face the perfect storm of an uncertain post-Brexit migration system, and an ageing workforce, with many set to retire in the near future.
“It is therefore essential that the industry attracts, trains, and retains new talent wherever it can be found to ensure construction isn’t hampered by a shortage of site-ready workers.”
Ian Hughes, partnerships director for Scotland, said: “This major cash injection will give the Scottish construction industry a real boost, specifically within Highlands and Islands, Borders, and rural East Scotland.”