Scotland is lacking in construction apprenticeship opportunities and a lack in skills, according to a new report.
It has long been criticised by the UK Government for its lack of opportunities for young people to learn construction skills.
The Scottish Government said the gap was the result of the “significant differences” in the skills of the young people who applied to work in Scotland and the lack of apprenticeship places available in Scotland.
The report, commissioned by the Scottish Construction Association (SCA), said the Government needed to develop a plan to address the issue.
“There is a significant difference in the skill levels of the students applying to work at the start of their careers compared to the graduates who are actually employed in the construction industry,” the report’s co-author, Claire Haddad, told the Sunday Herald.
“This is particularly true for those entering the industry who have not completed a secondary qualification in a relevant area of the construction sector.”
The report found there were 2,944 vacancies in Scotland’s construction industry, with the highest numbers of vacancies in the north-west of Scotland and south-west Scotland.
It also found that there were more than 50,000 construction apprentices in Scotland, with nearly 3,000 being in Scotland at the time of the survey.
Ms Haddada said the lack on apprenticeships was partly due to the lack in resources, and partly due the lack a training pathway.
“We know there is a shortage of apprentices in the country and this is compounded by the fact that there are no apprenticeships for construction apprentices,” she said.
The SCA is a member of the Construction Industry Association of Scotland (CIA), which has campaigned for greater apprenticeship facilities and training opportunities for construction workers for over 30 years. “
In a survey conducted by the SCA last year, more than half of those who responded said they could not afford to buy a building apprenticeship, with a further one in four saying they would be unable to afford to get a building licence in the next 12 months.”
The SCA is a member of the Construction Industry Association of Scotland (CIA), which has campaigned for greater apprenticeship facilities and training opportunities for construction workers for over 30 years.
It was founded in 1983, and the organisation was set up in 2002 with the aim of providing an apprenticeship service for construction industry workers.
“A lack of investment in apprenticeship training and a need for more apprenticeships across the construction profession has long-term consequences for our workforce and our economy,” Ms Hadada said.
The SCAA has called for a new apprenticeship industry to be created in Scotland to fill the gap.
“Our vision is that in the coming years, the construction workforce in Scotland will grow by 1.7 million, and this will require a new and expanded apprenticeship infrastructure to meet this demand,” the organisation said.