DEPUTY First Minister John Swinney saw how Stirling’s young people are developing skills for careers in the construction industry at a pioneering event at St Modan’s High earlier this month. 

As part of the school’s ‘Build Your Future Week’, pupils took part in a variety of activities and workshops to demonstrate the opportunities available within the construction sector.

Recent figures from the Construction Industry Training Body (CITB) show that the Scottish construction industry will need 21,000 new entrants at all levels from apprentices to graduates over the next 10 years just to meet current demand.

The event also deconstructed the myths of the industry, which supports roles such as lawyers, accountants, designers, ecologists and software designers.

Construction Scotland, CITB, Contract Scotland, Historic and Environment Scotland, Developing the Young Work Force Forth Valley, along with a number of local contractors and construction based businesses took part.

After visiting the school on Wednesday, November 7, Mr Swinney said: “The construction industry is one of the largest providers of apprenticeships and the ‘Build Your Future’ event highlights the many opportunities available, from working to build new infrastructure, increase exports or reduce carbon emissions.

“I have met so many enthusiastic young people here at St Modan’s who are interested in the range of skills and specialisms available in construction and how they can prepare to enter the industry.”

Ray O’Neill, headteacher at the school, said: “St Modan’s is committed to developing the young workforce through supporting our young people to achieve their full potential, expand their horizons and to develop skills for life, learning and work.

“It is important that our young people are fully aware of the range of career pathways open to them from Higher and Further Education to Modern Apprenticeships and Graduate Apprenticeships.” 

The ‘Build Your Future’ week (November 5-9) aims to inspire young people to expand their horizons as they consider their future careers.

Councillor Susan McGill, Convener of the Children and Young People Committee at Stirling Council, said: “Huge congratulations to all the staff at the school for their hard work in putting together such a fantastic and wide-ranging week-long event.”