Working closely with Construction Scotland Innovation Centre (CSIC), which links business, university experts and public sector providers, the Forum has launched the Be Covid Smart training and learning programme.
Using a series of digital scenarios, this immersive online training programme aims to raise awareness of COVID-19 safety by:
- educating those working on site, in homes or in places of learning
- encouraging the use of safe working and learning, and
- empowering the construction workforce to call out unsafe behaviour.
Recognising that the safe return of workers to site is a challenge within Scotland, Be Covid Smart provides a fun, easy-to-use, quiz-based toolkit that can be accessed via mobile, tablet, or laptop, and which will be hosted on the CSIC website.
Iain McCaskey, head of devolved nations at the Building Engineering Services Association and head of the CICV Forum Skills Group, who is leading the programme, said: “The Forum had identified the need not only for a safe return to work but also for reassurance for apprentices their families and employers.
“This innovative learning solution will not only raise awareness of safety in the current climate but also identify and test the user’s knowledge of the necessary steps to take to protect themselves and others.
“Be Covid Smart will be available to everyone within Scottish construction to use freely. However, initial targets will primarily be small site operators and companies employing apprentices, as we feel this is where support is needed.”
The toolkit will start by supporting domestic work and apprentices and their colleges, and will explore the health and safety aspects of working within a college workshop, manoeuvring around the building and how to get to and from work or college.
Lisa Deane, lead future skills manager at CSIC, said: “We are launching the platform with Place of Learning and Domestic Work modules, followed closely by On-Site modules. We’ve worked closely with the Glasgow School of Art to bring an innovative and fun way to learn important COVID-19 safety best practice, which we hope will give the workforce, businesses and customers confidence that the industry promotes high safety standards.
“This is a new approach to engaging learning within the construction industry, which can be continually updated as circumstances change and which could also support markets outside of Scotland who are interested in the innovative ways we’re dealing with a safe return to work.”
The new project was one of six funded by CSIC’s i-Con Challenge Fund, an initiative to support the construction industry with innovative solutions to challenged brought about by COVID-19.
It is just one in a string of recent Forum initiatives, which includes practical travel advice, underpinning operating guidance for the industry and a series of free commercial and employment webinars to give industry professionals advice on topics including redundancy, payments and conflict avoidance.
Made up of more than 70 trade associations, professional services bodies and companies, the Forum has maintained a steady supply of information and practical advice to the sector since its creation in March, as well as carrying out surveys, producing animations and posters, hosting webinars and making appeals to Government Ministers.