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Mon June 27 2022

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Scottish SMEs offered guidance on going digital

16 Mar The Scottish Construction Leadership Forum (CLF) has launched a launched a guide that points small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to the help they need to go digital.

DCS managing director Saffron Grant
DCS managing director Saffron Grant

Contractors including such as Morgan Sindall, Kier Construction, Morrison Construction and McLaughlin & Harvey will help distribute the guide to their supply chains.

The new guide, Summary of funding and business support available to Scottish construction companies, has been published as part of CLF’s recovery plan of actions, funded by the Scottish government.

It has been produced by the CLF’s digital strategy steering group following research by one of its members, Digital Construction Skills (DCS), which works to support SMEs as they introduce digital systems. The research showed a need to help businesses access available support that could help with digital adoption.

DCS managing director Saffron Grant said: “We can help, free of charge, any construction business quickly work out what is most relevant to them regardless of whether they are CITB registered or whether it is for digital construction support or more general upskilling or business improvement.”

CLF is encouraging SMEs in Scotland to use the guide to take up opportunities to build their digital capability and get support to use digitalisation to drive savings and growth for their businesses.  Introducing digital working, from the basics like booking systems to the more advanced robotics and building information modelling (BIM), could help businesses improve their quality, safety, productivity and profits, it said.

Michael Lennox, partnership manager at CITB, said: “There is grant-eligible training for all sorts of digital skills including drones, laser scanners, GNSS, robotic total station, 3D mapping and modelling software, 3D machine control and BIM. This means the full costs could be claimed through the CITB Skills & Training Fund.”

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Lynsey Brydson, head of digital programmes at Construction Scotland Innovation Centre (CSIC), said: “The guide maps out different sources of funding including for training, free mentoring and the Digital Development Loan, an interest free loan of up to £100,000 from the Scottish government.”

The Digital Strategy Steering Group has joined forces with Hub South West, Skills Development Scotland, CITB and a number of trade bodies and professional associations to create and promote the guide.

Mark Houston, supply chain development manager at Hub South West, said: “There are over 50,000 enterprises in the construction sector in Scotland which stand to benefit if the digital capability of the supply chain is enhanced.

“We recognise the critical role that Tier 1 contractors can play in driving transformation, and we are pleased that companies such as Morgan Sindall, Kier Construction, Morrison Construction and McLaughlin and Harvey are going to help disseminate this document to their supply chain companies.”

The guide is available to download at Digital Construction Skills website and will be updated regularly.

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