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Scotland's Construction Industry and dyslexia training

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Scotland’s construction industry and dyslexia training – what’s the scale?

There’s a lot of people in the construction workforce who learn their job from their company training in different ways compared to their colleagues. For example, our sources indicate that one third of the workforce in architecture, design and engineering fields is dyslexic. They have issues with memory, communication and organisation.

When co-occurring learning differences such as ADHD and autism are included, the incidence of different learning styles in the overall construction industry increases even more. Knowing the extent of these differences matters, because the new National Infrastructure Plan for Skills requires companies to demonstrate their skills development programmes when bidding for future infrastructure contracts.

Making confident adjustments for dyslexia is a key way of demonstrating your knowledge of how to improve training effectiveness across your organisation. Here we offer a way to do this, and explain why.

What proportion of workers have a dyslexic learning style?

Dyslexia in Construction Bar Chart

How does this apply to Scotland’s construction workforce?

Scottish Construction - Dyslexia Bar Chart

What government support has been delivered?

In 2013-2014, the UK government’s Access to Work scheme supported 4,270 dyslexic workers across the ENTIRE UK workforce.

That is:
1 dyslexic worker supported
for every
650 dyslexic workers not supported.

 At this standard rate, in Scottish construction industry terms, this would roll out as:
92 dyslexic construction trainees given support
60108 dyslexic construction trainees still in potential need of support.

                                                               The problem:
Not every dyslexic worker needs support, just support needs to be there for every one that does. Even taking into account the construction industry’s strong focus on training, this is still likely to be many more than 1 out of every 650 workers; but government support for them is not being provided.

                                  How much private training is being put into place?
There are shining individual examples of fully inclusive learning environments in UK industry today. However, our recent research with the Employment Research Institute at Edinburgh Napier University indicated that, overall, workplace training opportunities for increasing knowledge and understanding of dyslexia are “not very good at all”.There is good reason to change this, as the same small sample also said that they expected training on dyslexia would help to produce a more skilled workforce:

Benefits of dyslexia training for business

 The Employment Research Institute concluded:

  • There is considerable scope to improve access to training for employees with dyslexia.
  • In cases where dyslexic employees are unable to access relevant training or support opportunities, there may be negative effects on their career development. 

The School of Art, Design and Architecture at the University of Huddersfield has also stated that:

The recognition of higher levels of dyslexia among particular subjects…presents…a requirement that in some areas greater attention is given to dyslexia.  (Dr. Robert Clarke)

How are we helping to generate “greater attention to dyslexia” in the construction industry?
Fortunately, most of the adjustments to training are simple and cost-effective to make, and the benefits are felt right across an organisation. Our specialist knowledge of how to make this happen at work led us to create the online training course:

             Understanding Dyslexia In Business: Trainers, Coaches and Mentors
It gives workplace trainers knowledge, skills, confidence and experience to make their training programmes friendly for trainees with dyslexia and/or several co-occurring learning differences.

It demonstrates a corporate commitment to inclusivity in training, and boosts the value of future project bids.

The course includes a six month online forum for trainers to talk with dyslexia experts, and there’s a CPD certificate awarded upon successful completion. You can sample the course materials, learn more and also purchase copies at: 

 our course
Facebook page 
Read our blog on
NIP for Skills and Dyslexia

 Information sources

  1. Richard Rogers, ICON 2004
  2. University of Wales Institute Cardiff (UWIC) 2009
  3. University of Huddersfield 2011
  4. Nicola Brunswick, Living With Dyslexia, 2011
  5. Employment Research Institute, Edinburgh Napier University, 2013
  6. Elisheva Schwartz, The Creativity Post    2014
  7. Eide Clinic 2014
  8. Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) 2014
  9. Choose Lanarkshire 2015 


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