News release – Embargoed 12:00 (midday)
Wednesday 23rd October
Sir Tom Farmer launches new Technical Academy Scotland to take organisations to the top of the class
- Survey indicates almost half (46%) of employers across construction disciplines in the public and private sector are facing significant difficulties finding suitably skilled technicians and engineers
- 53% find it difficult to access financial support for the professional development of their employees
- 60% have confidence in the future of the Scottish construction industry
Leading Scottish entrepreneur, Sir Tom Farmer, today (23rd October) launched a ground breaking new technical academy offering qualifications across a wide range of construction disciplines. It comes as a new survey indicates that almost half of employers are facing significant difficulties finding suitably skilled technicians and engineers.
Technical Academy Scotland, established in collaboration with vocational training company, Edutrain, has been founded to provide academic training to support the delivery of high level technical and professional Modern Apprenticeships in civil engineering and related disciplines. Programmes will be offered that cater for both young technician apprentices and for adult learners on route to professional recognition.
The Academy’s delivery of academic programmes will see tutors address the challenge many candidates have in accessing teaching programmes by offering work-based learning. The move comes against a background of warnings of dire skills shortages within the sector, which could potentially hamper Scotland’s economic recovery.
A survey undertaken by Technical Academy Scotland of employers in construction and civil engineering in both the public and private sectors showed that while 60% of respondents had confidence in the Scottish construction industry, with 17% disagreeing, almost half (46%) said they were facing difficulties finding suitably skilled technicians and engineers, with 31% disagreeing with this.
53% find it difficult to access financial support for the professional development of employees with 24% disagreeing with this statement and almost half (49%) see the complexity of progressing towards professional recognition as a significant barrier to development compared with 27% who disagreed with this.
This is borne out by other evidence indicating that the UK needs to double the pipeline of new recruits into engineering, construction and the manufacturing professions by 2020 to avoid a skill shortage.
As a prime private learning provider in Scotland of HNC, HND and SVQ qualifications to the construction industry, Technical Academy Scotland will offer a new unique method of learning. Edutrain has up to 300 funded training places available to support experienced workers go through technical and professional Modern Apprenticeships.
Speakers at the launch event at the Stirling Management Centre included Sir Tom Farmer, George Adam MSP, Parliamentary Liaison Officer to the Cabinet Secretary for Education and Lifelong Learning and Dr Bob McLellan, Head of Transportation and Environmental Services from Fife Council.
Founder and Director of Technical Academy Scotland, Richard McClelland, said:
“Technical Academy Scotland has been established to improve the delivery of learning and assessment so that it makes a valuable contribution to Scotland having a smart and successful workforce. We are conscious that the circumstances for people to acquire the right skills is often challenging and our unique offering, with its tailored approach, will blend the theory and practice to meet the needs of those who want to learn and fulfil their ambitions’’.
Sir Tom Farmer said:
“If we want world class infrastructure in the future, we must take action to ensure we have a world class workforce to deliver it now. Technical Academy Scotland will assist in the delivery of a skilled workforce, investing in the training necessary to up skill our current workforce and encouraging people to enter the sector. I urge all those, both employers and employees in the public and private sectors to take advantage of this new learning provider.”
For further information please contact Lynsey Ross at Orbit Communications on 07828835050 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Or visit the web site: www.TechAcademyScot.com