• Focus on employer-school links to develop next generation of professionals
  • Design Engineer Construct showcase in Kinross on 12 September
  • Event part of region’s Developing Young Workforce initiative 

An innovative partnership programme between business and education to be showcased in Kinross next week demonstrates how investing in young talent can help the construction sector in Scotland weather the potential impact of Brexit.

The event at Loch Leven Community Campus on Tuesday 12 September will highlight the partnership between engineering firm WSP, social enterprise Class of Your Own and Kinross High School focused on creating the next generation of construction professionals.

It comes as the construction sector faces up to the implications of the UK vote to leave the EU.  With around 8% of UK’s construction workforce coming from the EU, the sector challenges include securing a pipeline of skilled domestic construction workers and professionals.

Construction is a critical part of the Perth and Kinross economy, accounting for 4,600 jobs and 7% of all employment in the region, with a value of £216m a year.

Around 50 people are expected to attend next week’s event, part of the Developing Young Workforce (DYW) initiative in the Perth and Kinross region. DYW is encouraging more of the region’s 6,000 employers to offer work experience opportunities, promote apprenticeships and help ensure young people from all backgrounds have the right skills for the workplace.

The showcase will profile the Design Engineer Construct!® (DEC!) initiative, an accredited learning programme for secondary-school age students designed to inspire the next generation of built environment professionals.

Pupils at Kinross High School have taken part in the DEC! programme to develop innovative solutions in response to a hypothetical brief to create a visitor centre for Loch Leven and the results will displayed at the event.

Attendees at the event will discuss how construction businesses can support schools to develop a talent pipeline by working alongside them on real life projects using new skills and the latest software. Through a project-based approach, DEC! applies pure academic subjects to the latest construction industry practices.
Steven Stewart, Chair of the Perth and Kinross Developing Young Workforce Regional Board, said: “Brexit is presenting many challenges and uncertainties for business, including for the construction sector, particularly around future access to the labour and skilled professionals it needs to continue to grow.

“Our young people can help meet that challenge. They are a critical part of growing the domestic skills base and talent pipeline in a sector that is extremely important to our own regional economy and the future vision for Perth and the wider area.

“We have a fast-growing region and young people can see first-hand the large-scale infrastructure projects underway right on their doorstep. There’s the £1billion project to create a new community at Bertha Park on the edge of Perth with 3,000 new homes and a new school. It’s supported by major improvements to the road infrastructure. And  on top of that there are projects to convert historical buildings into cultural attractions.

” We are encouraging the contractors involved and their supply chains to come into schools and share the excitement and their expertise.

“There are a huge range of opportunities in construction, including apprenticeships. As well as crafts and trades such as bricklaying and joinery, the sector needs architects, quantity surveyors and civil engineers. These are opportunities for both our young women and men. Through the young workforce initiative we want to help change people’s perceptions and understand the different pathways and future career options for our young people.”


Media contacts: 

  • Steven Stewart, Chair of the Perth and Kinross Developing Young Workforce Regional Board, email: stewart@stagecoachgroup.comor mobile 07764 774680.
  • Fiona Reith, Developing Young Workforce Manager, email: or mobile 07801 208577.
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