Construction Talk Podcast

Episode 19: Sustainable Construction and Skilling for the Future with Kirsty Connell-Skinner

Our Speakers This Week

Kirsty Connell Skinner
Kirsty Connell Skinner

Sustainable Construction Partnership Manager

Edinburgh Napier University

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Kirsty Connell Skinner

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Kirsty Connell Skinner

Sustainable Construction Partnership Manager

Edinburgh Napier University

Kirsty Connell-Skinner manages the Housing, Construction & Infrastructure Skills Gateway, a £6 million investment from the UK and Scottish Governments dedicated to increasing and diversifying employment in construction across the Edinburgh and South-East Scotland City Region Deal. Based at Edinburgh Napier University, she combines over a decade of experience in philanthropic fundraising with innovative management techniques gained from her MBA at the Quantic School of Business & Technology, Washington DC, to drive forward public and private investment in the next generation of engineering, built environment and sustainability professionals.

Passionate about empowering change and delivering equality as a feminist and activist, Kirsty is Director and Treasurer of feminist economic thinktank Scottish Women’s Budget Group and former Chair of the Scottish Fundraising Adjudication Panel, the self-regulatory body for charity fundraising in Scotland.

Peter Haddock
Peter Haddock
Construction Talk

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Peter Haddock

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Peter Haddock
Construction Talk

Peter Haddock is a journalist, influencer content creator and communications professional with over 16 years' experience in the construction sector.

He runs Content With Media and is a correspondent for Construction Manager, Earthmovers Magazine, Plant and Civil Engineer and other titles in the industry.

Time-stamped highlights:


Peter introduces this week’s guest Kirsty Connell-Skinner. Kirsty is a Sustainable Construction Partnership Manager at Edinburgh Napier University, but also Project Manager for the HCI Skills Gateway


Kirsty shares more about herself and her journey in construction


“I've always really enjoyed working with engineers and finding that straightforward bunch of people.”


“Like everyone else's life in 2020, life got turned absolutely upside down. And what came along at that point was a project which is called the housing construction infrastructure skills gateway, which is a 6-million-pound funded program.”


Kirsty discusses the "inclusive skills work" program, which focuses on engaging young learners and introducing them to various career paths, including construction


“We run a mentoring scheme for further education, higher education students who have been historically excluded from construction rules.”


“One of the sort of great successes that HCI have seen is our engagement with the timber industry. One of the sort of main new qualifications or new learning pathways that we've piloted is in timber technology, engineering and design.”


Kirsty discusses the "accelerating skills workstream"


Kirsty agrees emphasises the importance of practical education, especially in the construction industry


HCI aims to advance diversity in construction. Initially focused on providing scholarships for women, the project has awarded over 73 scholarships to historically excluded individuals, two-thirds of whom are female


Kirsty calls for innovative ideas and projects to promote diversity in the construction industry


Peter asks Kirsty about championing new talent and how this will change the construction culture


Kirsty Talks about "get on with it"


Kirsty expresses the team's enthusiasm to support and promote inclusion, diversity, and new ways of thinking in construction skills


Peter is interested in knowing what excites Kirsty about the future and how those exciting prospects will help attract more people to join the industry


Kirsty shares her closing thoughts


Peter wraps up the podcast


Links mentioned in today's episode:

HCI Gateway


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