Upskilling to accelerate digital adoption in construction

Construction manager skills, digital learning

The newly launched Digital learning platform on the Supply Chain Sustainability School supports the modernisation of digital technology within the industry by upskilling managers working in the construction sector

Over 180 construction leaders attended the recent launch of the digital learning platform in May, which was hosted by the Supply Chain Sustainability School. Its mission is to build the skills of managers in the construction industry in order to accelerate digital adoption.

Digital technology has the potential to transform construction – but only if the sector is equipped with the right skills and knowledge. Modern digital technologies can raise productivity, increase efficiency, improve quality and safety, reduce sustainability impacts and help attract people to the sector.

The construction sector has not increased its productivity over the last 40 years and, as such, managers within the construction industry currently lack the skillset to lead the adoption of new digital technology. Without widespread digital adoption, the construction industry risks being marginalised and may lose a generation of new talent to other sectors.

The right skills, knowledge and tools

This new programme will support business leaders by equipping them with the right skills, knowledge and tools required to successfully lead the implementation of new digital technology solutions within their organisations.

Ian Heptonstall, director of the Supply Chain Sustainability School, said: “Net zero carbon, improved profitability, workforce attraction and improved safety and quality are just some of the big challenges our industry faces. We can continue as we are, or we can embrace new ways of working and the digital technologies that can help us to address these challenges.

“Our new training materials allow managers and leaders to understand the emerging digital technologies and the skills they will need to be an effective champion of digital in their organisation.”

Delivering personalised learning

Drawing upon one of the UK’s leading digital infrastructure projects, Tideway, and using best practice from Costain, Skanska and other main infrastructure contractors, the Supply Chain Sustainability School has created a series of free-to-access learning materials via a new Digital topic area, funded by the Construction Industry Training Board (CITB).

This programme provides a suite of learning materials, including workshops, e-learning modules and online resources to help managers embed digital technology in their business.

Users of the school’s digital platform are able to undertake a Digital Training Needs Assessment on the website, from the results of which a personalised catalogue of learning materials is offered to them from the library of almost 200 digital-specific resources. In the same way, business owners are able to undertake a corporate Digital Maturity Assessment by answering a set of plain language questions.

Jeremy Galpin, lead for digital social value consultancy, Tideway East and Costain, said: “These learning materials plug a key gap in providing freely available resources that, firstly, allow organisations and individuals to benchmark the digital leadership maturity of themselves and their organisations and, secondly, provide the learning resources to develop the gaps that they identify. Both aspects are critical to adding value. I am confident the programme will make a measurable and significant contribution to the digital leadership maturity of the infrastructure supply chain.”

Phil Greenman, supply chain manager at Skanska, said: “As a major Tier 1 contractor, we need our supply chain to be digitally advanced. Working with clients, contractors and our supply chain we have jointly developed a range of freely available learning resources that allow managers to develop the knowledge and acquire the skills that they need to drive the rate of digital adoption in both their own organisations and their supply chain. I’m confident that these new tools in the Supply Chain School will help businesses to do that.”

The school is co-funded by CITB and industry partners, with the direction of the school being led by over 120 partners – working in collaboration, they share knowledge and free resources to inspire the UK built environment to drive positive change and each share a common desire to upskill the industry.

The Supply Chain Sustainability School provides free practical learning and support in the form of sustainability training, networking, e-learning modules, tailored assessments, action plans and a library of over 3,000 online resources.

You can find the Digital learning platform here.



Ian Heptonstall


Supply Chain Sustainability School

+44 (0)207 697 1977

Twitter: @supplycsschool

LinkedIn: Supply chain sustainability school

YouTube: TheSupplyChainSustainabilitySchool


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