To mark Scottish Careers Week, Martin Whitfield MSP has been flying the flag for careers in the built environment after visiting one of Scotland’s largest mixed-use developments.

Mr Whitfield visited Blindwells, the East Lothian development where 1,600 new homes are being created together with infrastructure comprising of education and healthcare services, landscaped open spaces as well as retail and leisure facilities.

Organised by The Construction Industry Training Board (CITB) the visit highlighted to Mr Whitfield the opportunities available in the vital field of construction, as well as the skills and qualities needed to help the industry’s growth and productivity.

Speaking after the visit, Martin Whitfield MSP said:

“I’m pleased to see that Blindwells is now making real progress and helping to create new job and apprenticeship opportunities for young people. With hundreds of houses and new public infrastructure being built at the development over the coming years, the site will offer a wide range of ways to build a career in construction.

“I welcome these new skilled jobs and look forward to seeing many more local young people forging a career in the industry in the future.”

Iain Slater, Development and Estates Director at Hargreaves Land, the development company behind the Blindwells scheme, said:

“Ahead of the first residents moving into Blindwells in the weeks ahead, our team has been hard at work applying impeccable standards in building a town that will be a relaxing yet vibrant part of the East Lothian landscape, an endeavour that requires a huge range of skills – skills that require investment.

“It was an honour for myself and Development Director Bruce Lindsay, to show Mr Whitfield our progress in making a modern and sustainable urban environment in which families and businesses can thrive.”

CITB’s Customer Engagement Manager Barry Dawson, who was also present, added:

“The Scottish construction industry needs a growing supply of skilled workers – more than 5,200 a year on top of existing recruitment, according to our forecast, and with ambitious schemes like Blindwells, it’s crucial that we work together with policymakers to develop standards and qualifications for the sector.”

More than 200 new homes are currently under development at Blindwells, which will feature a new school among its many amenities, and work is due to start early in 2022 by Persimmon on a further 197 residential properties. In recent weeks, five acres of land at the scheme has also been launched by Hargreaves Land for exclusive use by businesses seeking new commercial property opportunities in East Lothian.

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