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Construction firms granted multi-million pound funding boost to close skills gap

25/04/2016

CITB has announced over £7.5 million in targeted project funding to address the industry’s critical skills needs.

22 industry-led projects have been successful in their funding bids, following the launch of CITB’s new Flexible and Structured Funds last autumn. Over £2.5 million will be used to develop an online learning centre that helps construction firms build the skills of their supply chain.

A further £2.5 million will fund a Homebuilding Skills Partnership, to bring the whole homebuilding sector together for the first time to tackle the skills challenge in housing. Close to £350,000 will fund a project that aims to increase the number of females working in social housing maintenance.

More than half of the funding will be accessed by 16 projects led by federations. Employers are directly leading the remaining five projects, of which four are collaborative proposals.

The projects, run from locations across the UK, will focus on key areas that are stunting the growth of the industry, such as careers guidance, upskilling existing employees, recruiting new talent and encouraging diversity within the sector.

Geeta Nathan, Head of Economic Analysis at CITB, commented: “This exciting range of projects will help build a well-skilled workforce, boosting the industry for the long-term. Employers have identified several key issues affecting the construction industry and these funds will help provide the skills and training necessary to overcome them. Applications for the next round of funding will be accepted from the 19th of April.

“This is the first funding announcement since we changed the way we target our money and the way firms can access it. Although the application process has been simplified, it’s more transparent and rigorous – we require much more detail about the projects and what they will achieve in the long term for the construction industry and will monitor them closely to ensure they remain on course.”

Projects include:

The Supply Chain School – Strategic Partnership

The Supply Chain School provides an online platform for the construction industry to develop sustainability training for individuals and businesses. It provides an online skills test, making it possible to diagnose any skills gaps. It also offers free online learning resources.

The Strategic Partnership project proposes a five year strategic collaboration with the CITB, advising on skills issues within the sector and resolving the industry’s skills shortage for the long term.

Over the five year duration the project will see 4,000 employers undertake an online skills diagnostic, then receive an action plan and working through e-modules and other resources from the school.

The project is expected to cost £5 million, with CITB funding £2.5 million over five years, after which the project will seek to become self-financing.

CECA

This project will improve health and safety standards in construction by establishing the first safety stand-down, which will see 10 sites across the UK stop work for one day, so teams can spend time refreshing their health and safety knowledge.

The funding will support the development of the required training models. The project will also hold mock trials so that employees can experience a health and safety tribunal and also host regional conferences across Great Britain. CITB to contribute £358,500 over three years and work in collaboration with CECA, New Civil Engineers, Highways England, the Environment Agency and nine large contractors.

Mears

CITB will support Mears to work with housing associations and local government authorities to encourage diversity in the social housing construction workforce through funding for materials, workshops and community engagement. This is the first time CITB has supported engagement with the social housing sector on this issue. CITB will fund £349,455 over 18 months.

Roofing Industry Alliance

Considering that only 20 per cent of roofing workers hold formal qualifications, this project aims to equip workers with recognised training and qualifications and ensure they hold the relevant CSCS card. CITB will contribute £299,099 to the project of a total £432,650. After one year of funding, the project has the potential to benefit 138 firms and 270 individual workers. Up to 35,000 could benefit from the five-year strategic skills research.

Other projects include:

Company CITB Funding
The Association of Technical Lighting and Access Specialists (ATLAS) £64,000
B4Box £48,000
Barratt Developments £65,069
Build UK £66,780
Civil Engineering Contractors Association (CECA) £195,400
Dry Lining & Plastering Training Forum £20,000
Federation of Master Builders (FMB) £49,900
Federation of Master Builders (FMB) £240,100
Federation of Master Builders (FMB) £47,000
Finishes and Interiors Sector (FIS) £200,000
Home Builders Federation (HBF) £20,000
Home Builders Federation (HBF) £2,727,000
National Federation of Builders (NFB) £63,135
National Federation of Shopfitters and British Woodworking Federation £105,000
Roofing Industry Alliance (RIA) £299,099
Rowlands Roofing £5,000
Stewart Milne £178,000
Structural Timber Association £12,000
Structural Timber Association £15,000

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