CITB unveils £290k fund to digitally transform Scottish construction



Scotland’s construction bosses and their suppliers are at the heart of a new, CITB-funded programme to give construction leaders the skills to drive digital transformation.

Scottish training firm, Setting Out for Construction, will receive £292,000 of CITB funding to head up one of six UK-wide projects to provide construction industry leaders with the skills needed to embed digital practices throughout their businesses.

The project will be delivered by a group of 25 industry partners and suppliers under the new branding of Digital Construction Skills.

Saffron Grant, director of Setting Out For Construction, said: “This is an exciting opportunity for us to drive increasing digital maturity across Scottish construction firms as well as share our learning, learn from others and deliver a digital legacy for the industry.”

Over the next two years, 400 leaders from CITB-registered employers throughout Scotland will acquire essential digital skills via face to face learning, coaching and mentoring with online learning delivering training to a further 600 leaders from across England, Scotland and Wales.

The project will make all resources freely available to industry and create digital champions and trainers to widen the impact of their work.

A key measure of success will be in the number of firms which, following the training, implement an effective digital strategy including at least three digital solutions to help increase productivity, improve safety or grow their business.

The training will encourage firms to appoint internal digital champions, engage supply chains and utilise diagnostic tools developed as part of the project to identify and assess their existing digital skills. Other resources which will be made available to the industry include teaching materials, e-Learning modules and guidelines for employers.

Setting Out For Construction joins five other project leads, including the National Federation of Builders, Willmott Dixon, Supply Chain School, Leeds Beckett University and the Gloucestershire Construction Training Group.

Willmott Dixon will be using blockchain in its project with a decentralised database called distributed ledger technology (DLT). This results in cost savings by cutting fraud and error.

Gloucestershire Training Group will help SME leaders identify digital solutions to reduce waste and improve efficiency.

Digital technologies can help save time and improve productivity by enabling onsite employees to go digital, saving hundreds of hours in manual data entry with documents such as timesheets, expenses claims and work records. 

Marcus Bennett, CITB future skills and innovation lead, said: “CITB is supporting the construction industry in understanding the potential savings and productivity benefits of digitalisation, as well as embedding digital practice across businesses, especially for smaller firms. Margins are strained and wage costs going up, so it’s vital to make use of technologies that relieve these pressures.

“The CITB research report, Unlocking construction’s digital future: A skills plan for Industry, has found that technology-specific skills aren’t the problem – the broader skills and competencies at various levels need to be addressed.”

Other research consistently shows that leadership buy-in is essential to ensure that construction shares in the transformative productivity benefits of digital technologies, adopted by other industries years ago.



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