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Apprentices to reap benefits as CITB and Skills Development Scotland join forces


Apprentices, employers and the wider construction industry look set to benefit from a partnership between CITB and Skills Development Scotland announced today (22 July).

The partnership comes as new figures demonstrate the success of the Apprentice Employment Grant (AEG), which has helped to recruit almost 500 apprentices.

Construction employers throughout Scotland have already benefited from AEG with 488 apprentices being recruited via CITB’s management agency. Moreover, the collaboration between CITB and SDS resulted in £2.3million additional investment into construction as part of the AEG recruitment incentive.  This had a major impact for an industry where there were strong concerns during 2020 that apprentice recruitment would see significant decline due to Covid-19.

A CITB survey in July 2020 responded to by over 600 employers indicated a high number 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 young people who could not secure an apprenticeship has ensured that industry has attracted almost 80% of the normal intake.

Now CITB is teaming up with Scotland’s national skills body, SDS, to enhance partnership working on key areas of the provision of construction skills.

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, said:

“I’m delighted to announce the strengthening of CITB’s partnership with SDS. CITB and SDS have an effective, longstanding 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.”

Notes to editors

CITB and SDS signed a previous agreement in 2017.  This Agreement supersedes the previous document and has been revised to reflect the impact of Brexit, COVID-19, and the climate emergency.