INDUSTRY leadership organisation Construction Scotland has launched a new strategy for the next four years to help the industry address the “big issues and game-changers” it faces.

It is aimed at making the sector, which employs more than a tenth of the Scottish workforce, more sustainable, productive, innovative and profitable, as well as enhancing its contribution to Scotland’s economy.

The launch came at St Modan’s Academy in Stirling as part of the school’s Build Your Future event – part of the trade group’s Inspiring Construction programme – and during a visit by Deputy First Minister John Swinney.

The event was to help let pupils know about the significant and diverse range of careers available in the sector.

Scotland’s construction industry and its supply chain employs more than 170,000 people, with up to a further 60,000 self-employed workers. It contributes £21.5 billion to Scotland’s gross domestic product (GDP) and makes up 10% of Scotland’s gross value added (GVA).

For every £1 spent on construction output, the organisation said a further £2.94 is generated in the economy.

The new strategy was prepared after consultation with partner organisations, federations, businesses and government, and sets out sectoral priorities for the areas which are most important to industry performance and growth. These are procurement reform, increasing skills and diversity, improving quality, supporting the reform of planning and building regulations, improving productivity and profitability and facilitating sector growth.

Ken Gillespie, chair of Construction Scotland’s Industry Leadership Group, said: “Our new strategy focuses on the big issues and game-changers that are affecting our sector. To achieve progress in these six priority areas, the industry must come together collaboratively as never before.

“Each priority area will be addressed by an action plan for the industry, co-ordinated and facilitated by Construction Scotland, with key milestones and timescales for delivery.

“We will bring the industry and its customers to the table to address the challenges that face it in a constructive manner, and to facilitate the changes necessary for our industry to grow sustainably and profitably.”

Swinney added: “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.

“As we step up our infrastructure investment, continue to deliver more affordable homes towards our 50,000 target and take forward plans for the Scottish National Investment Bank, we are supporting Construction Scotland’s refreshed strategy and fully endorse the ambition of being a more productive, innovative, profitable and sustainable industry.”