CITB appeals for new construction workers in Scotland

Monday 14 August 2017

The Construction Industry Training Board (CITB) has appealed for new talent as statistics show thousands of professionals could retire in the next decade.

In a bid to attract more people to the sector, the CITB has launched its “Can You Dig It?” campaign during exam season to persuade students to consider a move into the sector. 

The project follows research from the body, showing that the Scottish construction industry employs almost 16,000 people aged 60 or over and 15,000 aged between 55 and 59. 

As these employees move towards retirement, new opportunities will open up for young job seekers, startups and UK contractors. With plenty of different roles available, many workers will find they have transferrable skills that will assist them in the industry. 

Ian Hughes, CITB strategic partnerships director in Scotland, said: “The reality in Scotland is that in five years’ time, around ten per cent of the industry workforce will have retired. Over the next decade, that total figure is closer to 20 per cent, at nearly 31,000 people. 

“The opportunities in construction are, therefore, truly vast for young people getting their exam results this August.”

Mr Hughes went on to say that the campaign sends a clear message that the industry is open to all, adding that over 150 types of jobs are available. Drone operators, landscape architects, building information managers (BIM) and stonemasons are just some of the positions within the field.

He explained that rapid and exciting changes are coming to the sector. These include the increasing potential of off-site manufacturing, where components are developed in factories and then assembled later on the construction site.

Mr Hughes also remarked that growth in Scotland’s private housing sector over 2017 and 2018 will provide plenty of opportunities for those interested in a career in construction.

The Can You Dig It? campaign is also hoping to make the sector more diverse, as only 14 per cent of its workforce is female, while just six per cent is from an ethnic minority background. To tackle this, it will work with members of the industry to understand new ways to recruit talent from different cultures. 

As part of the project, a Personality Quiz has been launched at, which helps participants to identify the type of construction career that suits them the most. Users are encouraged to share their results using the CanYouDigIt hashtag on Twitter.

By Victoria McDonnell

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