City Region Deal boost for construction and engineering skills

More than 2,000 people in south east Scotland are set to benefit from the first wave of skills and career support from the area's new Housing, Construction and Infrastructure (HCI) Skills Gateway.

£6 million investment

Supported by the Edinburgh and South East Scotland City Region Deal and funded by the Scottish Government, the HCI Skills Gateway – worth £6million over the next seven years – will provide multi-level support to schools and new entrants to the sector as well as upskilling the existing workforce.

Range of courses

The Skills Gateway includes a diverse range of short, work-ready courses in renewable energy for homes, installing electric vehicle charging points, highways and roads infrastructure, environmental technologies and engagement with school pupils.

Growing region

According to the UK government, south east Scotland is the fastest growing region in Scotland and fifth fastest in the UK. With an anticipated 145,000 new homes to be built over the next two decades, it marks a 40% increase in new housing supply compared with the 20 years prior to the recession.

Career pathways

Professor Sean Smith of Edinburgh Napier University leads the HCI Skills Gateway, which is being delivered by the region’s universities and colleges. “This support will provide an attractive route into future job opportunities and career pathways,” said Professor Smith. “We are particularly keen to support unemployed people entering this sector, attracting more women into construction and engineering and supporting existing employees with new skills.”

Increased opportunities

Scott Warden, Head of Engineering and Construction at Edinburgh College said: “Edinburgh College, in partnership with the City Region Deal, is committed to supporting and increasing opportunities for all by delivering new and innovative construction programmes to address the regional skills shortage.”

Inclusive growth

Midlothian Council Leader, Councillor Derek Milligan added: “Figures suggest that we are facing a construction skills supply shortage of over 3,500 in south east Scotland in the coming years. As well as new skills and jobs, the region needs more bricklayers, joiners, electricians and plumbers. The Skills Gateway aims to reduce the gap and will help support inclusive growth for people across the region, including Midlothian.”

Courses and training

The list of new HCI courses and training programmes in Wave 1 includes:

  • Electric vehicle charging installations
  • Highways and roads (services and maintenance)
  • Building Information Modelling (BIM)
  • Environmental technologies
  • New bricklaying programme
  • Renewables and energy efficiency
  • Construction sector taster sessions
  • Schools outreach programmes

About the City Region Deal

Finalised in August 2018, the Edinburgh and South East Scotland City Region Deal is a UK and Scottish Government-led investment in the region, designed to accelerate productivity and inclusive growth through funding infrastructure, skills and innovation. The UK and Scottish Governments and regional partners are investing £1.3bn over 15 years in transport, housing, culture, skills and employability and innovation.

Deal partners

The City Region Deal partners include the six local authorities of Midlothian, Edinburgh, East Lothian, West Lothian, Fife and the Scottish Borders, as well as universities and colleges in the region.

28 Jan 2020