Onsite experience opportunities in construction - Scotland

We have invited bids for projects to create a model of local, onsite training to help address the complex challenges facing the construction industry in rural Scotland. This opportunity is now closed for new bids.

CITB will invest £5.4 million in Scotland over a three-year period, specifically within Highlands and Islands, Borders and rural East Scotland. The fund will target further education students studying construction, where currently only a low percentage go on to employment in the sector.

During this period, CITB will establish at least three onsite hubs and train 4,500 individuals, 30 per cent of whom are expected to be offered employment in the sector.

The creation and retention of construction jobs in rural Scotland faces unique challenges, including: 

  • travel distance to jobs
  • material costs
  • wider socio-economic issues such as infrastructure, housing condition, depopulation and investment.

The most recent evidence for these issues can be found in the Scottish government report: A new blueprint for Scotland’s rural economy: National Council of Rural Advisers. This report highlights the need for a change in policy mindset, culture and structure to support sustainable growth in rural areas in Scotland and also suggests that construction has the largest employment jobs forecast of any sector.

CITB’s own research lines up with this report, and finds some 13,000 new jobs will be required over the next five years alone, across all 28 construction occupations measured. The forecast for job requirements is the same in rural Borders as in the Highlands, across most occupations.

Only a low percentage of those in further education studying construction currently go onto employment in the sector. A key recruitment cohort will be those students at further education college. There are 20,000 learners within the FE Network in Scotland who are studying a construction related course – anecdotal evidence shows only 15 per cent leave college and get a job within construction.

Any organisation best placed to deliver the outcome sought.
We especially welcome proposals from organisations that are:

  • levy-registered employers who are have construction projects and who are looking to employ locally
  • federations and/or trade associations who are able to galvanise local construction projects to create a collaborative response
  • construction clients and/or leaders of construction projects who want to support their supply partners to access the talent need to deliver high quality work
  • training providers and/or training consultancies with strong relationships with construction projects who can galvanise support for an on-site hub.

If you are interested in submitting an expression of interest for this commission, please sign up for the webinar where you can find out more. Details on how to do this are available under 'Further information' below.

The commission has a budget of up to £5.4m to fund at least three onsite hubs which will align to the needs of rural areas of Scotland.

Your project may address the challenges facing one or more of these areas, as outlined in ‘The challenge facing industry section’ above.

CITB will fund up to 70 per cent of the total value of the project.

Projects can last up to three years.

In the next three years we want to create a model of local, onsite training to help address the specific and complex challenges facing the construction industry in rural Scotland.

The expected results are:

  • Individuals will receive the necessary training to convert their learning in further education into a sustainable job.
  • Partnerships between industry, training providers and public sector bodies will ensure delivery in each region
  • It will enable employers to have a talent pool sufficient to meet their ongoing recruitment needs.
  • A target of 4,500 individuals will be employment and site-ready during this period.

Find out about more on the momentum behind this commission from the experience of the Construction Skills Fund

Pre-application webinar

We recorded a webinar to introduce this commission earlier in July. It includes an overview of the commission and some further details about how to apply.

View this webinar on YouTube


We have more live webinars for you to find out about this commission. Use the links below to register and take part:

Date: Tuesday 23 July 2019
Time: 10:00 – 11:00

Register attendance with eventbrite

Attend the webinar with eventbrite

Date: Tuesday 30 July 2019
Time: 11:30 – 12:30

Register attendance with eventbrite

Attend the webinar with eventbrite

The webinars will be recorded and shared afterwards if you are unable to attend one of the above slots.

Application workshops

We will also host workshops across the country. These workshops will give you an opportunity to find out more about the application process and how we assess proposals for funding.

Application workshops will be held in Inverness and *Langholm*. Details will be sent to you as part of the acknowledgement of your expression of interest.

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