Construction loses out to finance

Young people in Scotland are rejecting traditional apprenticeships in favour of careers in the financial sector.

According to the general manager of the Construction Industry Training Board in Scotland, Douglas Fergus, “There is a feeling that it is perhaps more fashionable to work in banking or other areas of the financial sector than to become involved in the construction industry.

“As a result we are short of some people to fill apprenticeships in Edinburgh. There is also a shortage in Aberdeen and Shetland but in some areas of Scotland, such as Fort William, there is an excess.”

Edinburgh is currently undergoing a major building boom but as Fergus explained, “This is a mobile industry and although there may not be people from within Edinburgh to do all this work, people will travel to jobs.”

Around 130,000 people are employed in the construction industry in Scotland, a figure which has remained static for 10 years, and the industry itself provides around 20 per cent of the total number of apprenticeships for the whole of the UK, around double the number expected given the population.

“There has always been a willingness in the industry to provide apprenticeships and generally we can fill them, so I feel optimistic for the future,” said Fergus.

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