Moray firm Robertson Group said yesterday it had smashed through its 2015 target of reaching 7,000 Scottish young people in a drive to promote careers in construction.
The Elgin-based building and infrastructure services company added it had actually engaged with more than 12,000 in an attempt to bolster numbers entering the industry.
It launched its careers initiative in January after deciding action was needed to reverse a decline in the number of young people entering the construction sector.
Since then, it has welcomed thousands of children and young people to classroom talks, workshops and site visits – all aimed at improving their perception of construction and boosting future employment in the industry.
Robertson chief operating officer Derek Shewan said: “Job levels in construction are still below pre-recession levels and have failed to keep pace with work demand.
“Data from the Office of National Statistics showed that in June 2015 employee numbers were 8.7% lower than in 2007, but construction output was only 1.6% lower over the same period. That’s why the industry needs to do more to attract youngsters into construction.
“Our goal was to engage with 7,000 young people in 2015. And as you can see, we have exceeded that target.
“We have been overwhelmed by the sheer volume of young people who, as a result of meeting with our team, have decided that a life in construction is for them.”
Robertson said it planned to continue its youth engagement activity over the long-term in order to “safeguard the sector and mirror government ambitions”.
It added: “In 2014, more than 15,000 people signed up to UK Government work placement training schemes in the building sector.
“And with 275,000 new affordable homes in the pipeline, ministers have promised more construction work is on the horizon.
“The Scottish Government outlined in its Construction Industry Strategy 2013-2016 that the sector represents 10% of total Scottish jobs, contributing over £21.4billion to the Scottish economy.
“Despite the challenges that the industry has faced since 2006, which included slumps in output and 30,000 people losing their jobs, it has remained resilient.”
Robertson companies directly employ more than 1,450 people working in a variety of market sectors. Operating across the whole of the UK, the group has a strong presence throughout Scotland and the north of England.