College leads the way in tackling skills gap in construction

CoGC Building Engineering & Energy

Recommendations to help close the skills gap in the UK construction industry were highlighted at a recent event held in Glasgow.

Over 30 employer organisations from across the construction industry attended a Construct your Future event organised by BCTG Construct – a consortium of educators led by City of Glasgow College with industrialists (Building Contractors Training Group) and designers (Learn, Develop and Build).

BCTG Construct aims to transform how construction-based training programmes are delivered in the UK. They work in partnership with Circular Glasgow and the Construction Scotland Innovation Centre (CSIC) where the event was held.

Linzi Shearer is the consortium’s Project Manager and Lead Researcher. She explained that the event was a launch pad for an applied research publication:

“We have produced an in-depth research publication which examines the skills gaps at supervisory level in the construction industry. Our findings are being used to develop an innovative co-designed and co-delivered online training solution for site supervisors that addresses both current and future skills gaps.

“The event was a fantastic opportunity to meet with SMEs and better understand the issues they face on a daily basis. Ongoing input from the industry is vital to helping us achieve this goal so we are encouraging employers to get in touch if they would like to hear more or get involved.”

This publication was the first research output delivered out of the Scottish Institute for Innovation and Knowledge Exchange (SIKE). Regional Director at SIKE and STEM & Innovation Lead at City of Glasgow College, Douglas Morrison, said:

“To equip supervisors with the skills to flourish in the workplace while meeting the needs and expectations of the labour market, it is vital that the education sector respond to the challenges associated with ensuring a responsive, adaptive and often anticipatory curriculum offer to address both established and short-term skills shortages, as well as emerging and future skills demands”.

Jennifer Smart, Business Relationship Manager for the Construction Scotland Innovation Centre, said:

“CSIC is dedicated to promoting innovation and supporting companies that work within construction and the built environment to deliver transformational change and real economic benefit to Scotland. This gave us a real chance to show some of the support that is available to the construction sector while outlining the skills gap the industry faces and how this can be addressed.”

Alison McRae, Senior Projects Director for Glasgow Chamber of Commerce, said:

"This event gave Circular Glasgow the chance to increase our understanding of the industry's supply chain as well as providing further inspiration to encourage the successful transition to a circular economy."

A digital version of the BCTG Construct publication can be downloaded by subscribing through the project website.

Copies of the presentations that were delivered on the day can be accessed here.