CITB allocate £5m to help under-represented groups into construction

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The Construction Industry Training Body (CITB) has assigned £5m to help under-represented groups into the construction industry

CITB’s Pathways into Construction will help link employers with people who traditionally don’t enter construction, including the unemployed, women of all ages and full time learners who study construction but struggle to join the industry.

The Pathways into Construction scheme is inviting bids from organisations that work with one or more of the following five groups and want to help them into construction:

  • Young people who are not in education, training or work, particularly where existing networks are already in place
  • The long-term unemployed
  • Service Leavers who left the military at least 12 months ago
  • Women wishing to join construction
  • Full-time learners (focused on CBE Diploma students).

The fund is a direct intervention by CITB following extensive research into critical training and employment issues in the sector.

Research topics included routes into construction careers, work readiness, recruiting young people who are not in education, training or work, and pre-employment interventions, like work experience and gaining soft skills.

Stephen Cole, Head of Careers Strategy at CITB, said: “CITB’s new commission, Pathways into Construction opens up a huge opportunity for the industry. With Brexit on the horizon, the fund will widen employers’ pool of domestic talent, diversify the industry and increase opportunities for those on the margins of construction, improving social mobility.

“By working with organisations that specialise in reaching these groups, the fund will facilitate the creation of sustainable partnerships and help the industry reach new talent that’s previously been untapped.”

Actis regional director Jemma Harris says the CITB initiative, combined with an increase in offsite construction, will go some way towards addressing the housing crisis.

“Creating a timber frame home is around 30% faster than building in brick and block. Timber frame walls, floors and roofs, complete with electrical wiring, plumbing and insulation are built in factories at relative speed. Indeed, some insulation systems such as Actis Hybrid, which consists of insulation, vapour control layer and breather membrane, can be installed effectively with ease by someone who has had minimal training which can even be delivered via an online tutorial.

“As these three in one systems are quicker to install than traditional insulation – many builders report savings of 25 to 50% – this in turn also frees up more man hours.”

Mace Group chief executive Mark Reynolds added: “This new funding will have a huge impact, targeting people who traditionally don’t enter our industry. It will help to ensure that everyone can access high quality construction training and employers can find the right new people to deliver their projects and programmes.”

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