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Changing skill needs and training requirements in the scottish construction industry

Agapiou, Andrew and Dauber, Volker (2001) Changing skill needs and training requirements in the scottish construction industry. In: Proceedings of the RICS construction and building research conference COBRA 2001. Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (RICS Foundation).

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Construction is a significant contributor to economic activity in Scotland, accounting for approximately 6.4 per cent of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in 2000. The industry also accounts for 6 per cent of Scottish employees in employment and approximately 1 in 5 of Scotland?s self-employed. The construction industry is renowned for shortages of suitably qualified workers such as bricklayers and carpenters, even in an economic recession. Such shortages tend to take the form of a lack of quality tradesmen, rather than a shortfall in quantity. In Scotland, the demand for new workers has been estimated at 5,400 per year. Successful construction firms seek employees with a broader range of attributes and a capacity to function in a team, adaptable to changing working environments, multi-skilled and possessing more generic skills. A challenge for vocational education and training agencies in the construction industry is to find ways of assisting to meet these needs. This paper presents the results of a survey of skill needs and training requirements in the Tayside construction industry. The survey seeks to provide a framework for analysing skill requirements in the context of modern performance targets, together with policy recommendations for industry, government and training providers throughout Scotland.