Petition launched to save Scottish construction skills training

Members of Unite, the UK’s largest union, employed by the Construction Industry Training Board (CITB) have launched a petition to reverse a decision which would end unique construction skills training in Scotland.

As part of the CITB’s ‘controversial business plans’, the organisation is set to withdraw from directly providing specialist construction training and is undertaking an outsourcing exercise to seek a private provider to provide this training.

As a result of the CITB’s plans, the jobs of 100 workers at the organisation’s National Construction College in Inchinnan in Renfrewshire are in jeopardy. Even if a private provider was willing to undertake the specialist training provided by the CITB, there is said to be no guarantee that they would maintain the current site.

If a private provider cannot be found then it would mean that there would be no provision for critical specialist training in many trades in Scotland, including scaffolding and ceiling fixing.

The petition is said to be designed to put pressure on Peter Leuner, the new chair of the CITB, who is considered to be a champion of construction apprenticeships.

Unite regional officer, David McGurk, said: “The CITB’s decision to divest themselves of training has enormous implications. Selling the National Construction College at Inchinnan to a private provider could signal the end of apprentice training in specialist trades in Scotland. A private provider will simply not be willing or able to absorb potential financial losses.

“The Inchinnan facility is a high-value, permanently-full training centre that provides quality training for the construction industry in Scotland.

“The decision to sell off Inchinnan, is a disservice to industry and the employers who the CITB are supposed to represent.

“The proposed sell-off has no tangible benefit for anyone. Peter Lauener, the new CITB chair, needs to get a grip of his organisation, reverse the process and save the CITB’s specialist training in Scotland.”