The construction industry has launched an appeal for new talent as figures suggest that tens of thousands of workers are set to retire over the next decade.

The Construction Industry Training Board (CITB) said its “Can You Dig It?” campaign has been timed to coincide with the exam results season, and encourages Scottish students to consider a construction career. 

Industry leaders are also aiming to make the industry more diverse – as construction currently has a workforce of only 14 per cent female and 6 per cent from an ethnic minority background.

The initiative comes as new statistics indicate that a fifth of the sector’s workforce is set to retire over the next ten years.

Ian Hughes, CITB strategic partnerships director in Scotland, said: “The reality in Scotland is that in five years’ time, around 10 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.”

He added: “The campaign sends a very clear message that the construction industry is open to all. With over 150 different jobs available there really is a career for everyone.”

CITB, which covers Scotland, England and Wales, said it would be working closely with industry to ensure that the construction sector “continues to modernise and flourish with the recruitment of new, diverse talent of all ages and backgrounds”.

Lovell starts work on Edinburgh social housing project Construction specialist Lovell has begun work on a multi-million pound social housing project in south Edinburgh.

The firm, which is part of Morgan Sindall, said the £3.4 million development of 30 flats for social rent was located on Lasswade Road, five miles south of the city centre.

It is carrying out the construction on behalf of Link Group, with the scheme expected to reach completion in late October. News of the work came as Lovell said it operations in Scotland were currently undergoing “a period of considerable growth”.

The company is on track to build more than 450 homes this year, a surge of 60 per cent on the number of units completed in 2016.

Activity is anticipated to increase by a further 7 per cent in 2018.

Stephen Profili, regional managing director for Lovell in Scotland, said: “This is an exciting time for Lovell and we are delighted to be working with Link Group to provide much needed high-quality homes for social rent in the south side of Edinburgh.”

The finished development will consist of nine one-bedroom flats and 21 two-bedroom flats, four of which will be wheelchair accessible. The outer rooftops will be fitted with state-of-the-art photovoltaic panels, helping to reduce energy bills for occupants as well as lowering greenhouse gas emissions.

Colin Culross, director of development and asset management at Link, said: “I’m delighted that Link continues to make its contribution to the City of Edinburgh Council’s pledge to build more affordable homes and, in this case, 30 new social tenancies will be created as well as delivering a range of community benefits by development contractor Lovell.”

• Hardies Property & Construction Consultants has overseen the completion of 173 student studios at Causewayend, Aberdeen for student developer Visage Properties.

Murray Warner, partner at Hardies, said: “This project was a great success, successfully completing the works on time – ahead of the 2017 student intake – and on budget.”

Source: The Scotsman

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