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Scottish MPs Demand More Construction Apprentices

Garnock Community Campus recently received a visit from Kenny Gibson, MSP for Cunninghame North, and Patricia Gibson, MP for North Ayrshire and Arran.

Their appearance was part of a dedicated week-long campaign to recruit more workers for the construction industry.

The visit took place during Open Doors 2016, a joint venture between Build UK and the Construction Industry Training Board (CITB) that strives to present the construction industry as an attractive career prospect.

More construction workers are urgently needed. The CITB anticipates the creation of over 21,000 new construction jobs in Scotland over the next five years.

The new Garnock Community Campus received a £42.2 million investment from North Ayrshire Council to provide educational resources from pupils ranging in age from early years to secondary. Also included are community facilities like a fitness suite and a 25m six-lane swimming pool.

Kier Construction Scotland is doing the construction work. The firm is working in partnership with the local council with South West Scotland serving as the hub.

Cllr Tony Gurney said that the campus was really beginning to take shape and that everyone involved in the project deserves credit. Mr Gurney, who is cabinet member for place, said that the council was delighted that it was being used in the service of this particular campaign.

He said that the council is also proud of its capital investment programme, which represents a £275m commitment over the next ten years. The goal is to help the North Ayrshire construction industry grow and prosper.

Mr and Ms Gibson met with apprentices working on the campus project and learned about the benefits that await young people who seek a construction career. Also discussed was Go Construct, a support website for those thinking about joining the construction industry.

Patricia Gibson MP said that once the campus was completed it will be a superb asset to the community. She held the project up as an example of how the next generation of badly-needed construction workers can be trained.

Kenny Gibson MSP encouraged anyone contemplating a construction career to go for it. He praised the Go Construct website, calling it a “fantastic” resource for learning more about the variety of construction jobs available.

CITB partnerships manager Michael Lennox said that Open Doors is an ideal way of inspiring more individuals to enter the construction industry.

Brian McQuade, Kier Construction Scotland managing director, said he was pleased to welcome the two politicians to the Garnock Community campus site, so they could see the excellent work his team was doing and be cognizant of the principal challenges the industry is facing when it comes to recruiting new talent.

Charlotte McDonnell, who is skills academy development manager, for hub South West, said that Open Doors creates the opportunity for people to witness live construction projects in action. She said that by learning more about how structures and buildings in their communities are put together, younger people can learn more about the skills need to contribute.

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