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.

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.