Building Growth tackles construction careers in the South West

The Construction Industry Training Board (CITB) has today announced £1m funding for Building Growth South West, a funded programme to help people explore a career in construction.

Led by YTKO the project will take place across the West of England and Greater Exeter regions to support members of the public to explore a career in construction.

The 3-year programme is part of the CITB’s pathways into construction initiative which aims to reach individuals who don’t always consider construction as a desirable career choice.

Aimed at women, ex-services, long-term unemployed, young NEETs (people not in employment, education and training) and further-education leavers the project will engage 200 learners from these communities to show that modern construction can be an exciting and successful sector in which to work.

Phil Stott, Head of Construction and Sustainability at YTKO, said:

As one of the fastest-growing regions of the UK, the South West construction sector needs over 27,000 new entrants in the next few years. Modern methods of construction have revolutionised the sector with modular housing, robotic brick-layers and virtual reality all forming part of the mainstream.

Many people’s understanding of construction is out of date and the opportunities to work in the sector are exciting and potentially lucrative. In 2018 construction had the highest proportion of small businesses in the UK economy and the chance to start your own business, and work to your own schedule, is probably greater than any other sector.

Building Growth SW will not only tackle the image of construction, but will also provide funded training to experience the realities of working onsite, meet with experienced and relatable mentors, and also help develop ‘softer skills’ such as attitude and confidence to tackle the practicalities of working in the sector.

West of England Mayor, Tim Bowles, said: “Construction is a key contributor to our region’s growing economy. It’s clear that there are huge opportunities here and we need to continue to provide the right skills to sustain the industry. The West of England Combined Authority has committed to working with colleges, councils and businesses to help the construction industry fill the estimated 82,500 jobs that will be created by 2036. This latest initiative from YTKO is a great example how we are addressing that challenge together. It will help encourage more people to consider a prosperous career in the construction sector and equip themselves for a successful future.”

Chair of Building Greater Exeter, Matthew Cousins, said:

One of the core objectives of the Building Greater Exeter programme is to support people into employment in the sector and meet the skilled labour demands that every construction company is experiencing. The Partnership is excited about the potential of the Building Growth South West project in making a real impact across Greater Exeter and supporting all of our partners with their recruitment needs. To be able to work with the groups that have been identified will broaden the reach and appeal of the construction sector as an employment and career choice.

For more information please contact Philip Stott at