Today (Thursday 26 April) sees the meeting of a Short Life Working Group on housing construction skills which will bring together a range of industry experts to discuss skills in housing and construction.
The Scottish government will work with these key stakeholders with the aim of ensuring the right skills are available for housing and construction developments. The group is chaired by Professor Sean Smith, director of sustainable construction at Edinburgh Napier University and brings together a range of senior representatives from across the sector to give evidence on the challenges they currently face and skills requirements they have, with the aim of compiling a set of recommendations by the end of this year.
Working with Prof Smith are: Calum Murray of CCG; Stephen Good and Rohan Bush of the Construction Scotland Innovation Centre (CSIC); John Keenan of the CITB; Vaughan Hart of the Scottish Builders Federation; Gordon Nelson of FMB Scotland; Audrey Cumberford of West College Scotland; John Renwick of the Energy Skills Partnership; Susan Hudson of Stewart Milne Group; Alan Cadenhead of Miller Homes; Heather Henderson and Diane Kemp of Springfield Properties; Colin Culross of Link Group; Karen Campbell and Michael Barton-Maynard of Homes for Scotland; and Stephen Sheridan of SDS.
Smith says: “I am delighted to chair the group for future housing and construction skills. Housing plays a crucial role for our communities and the delivery of economic and inclusive growth, with the sector is highly dependent on skilled workforce supply at all levels. As the sector moves forward to deliver the future homes this will require traditional and new types of skill sets. The group will have the opportunity to hear from industry organisations and companies on the key skills and training they require for the future.”
Housing Minister Kevin Stewart adds: “We are committed to delivering at least 50,000 affordable homes over this Parliament, backed by £3bn – the single biggest investment, and delivery of, affordable housing since devolution. That is expected to support up to 14,000 full-time equivalent jobs across housing and construction. Our Short Life Working Group, delivered in partnership with industry, will help inform the actions needed to ensure we have the necessary workforce continue to increase the supply of affordable homes across Scotland.
“I am delighted that Professor Sean Smith has agreed to chair the group, bringing with him a wealth of expertise in skills mapping. Together with key stakeholders from across the construction and housing sectors, ensure the right skills are available for housebuilding across Scotland.”