The Finishes and Interiors Sector (FIS) has announced a new qualification for drylining in housebuilding, created by National Open College Networks (NOCN), to address the lack of a recognised qualification for the sector-specific skill

The new qualification offers a flexible delivery approach and a specifically trained outcome to support both employers and individuals to a step by step approach to demonstrate competence in a vocational setting.

It ensures that those companies and individuals investing in training can be supported with funding even if they are not able to offer the full scope of experience required to meet the new English Drylining Apprenticeship Standard.

The FIS supported by industry partners created a working group to identify the skills and agree the level of training required to create a standalone qualification. The working group comprised Construction Industry Training Board (CITB) standards team, NOCN, Home Builders Federation (HBF) along with colleges and training providers.

This project highlights the need for a new qualification for dryliners in the housing sector. This is now complete and ready to deliver. With training providers and colleges working alongside contractors and individuals, together with the support of the FIS, housebuilders and the backing of CITB, it is unanimously agreed the form of qualification and method of delivery will provide a solution that the construction industry needs.

Project objectives:

  • Develop standardised, formally recognised training that enables the delivery of drylining within housebuilding
  • Identify and agree the funding available that will enable the delivery of the training
  • Ensure quality of provision of training in the right locations.

The outcome is an Office of the Qualifications Examinations Regulators (OfQual) registered training qualification that can be delivered on housebuilding sites at the point of installation with a formally trained outcome and national recognition.

The training can be delivered in-house by a qualified instructor, this can be a suitably qualified employee or an independent trainer.

In order to ensure quality, sites will need the required resources as specified in the NOCN qualification criteria.

Flexibility that delivers within a framework

NOCN executive director of job cards and services, Mark Buckton, said: “NOCN has been delighted to work with FIS on the drylining in housebuilding qualification.

“At NOCN we know that specialist trades are absolutely vital to the success of the industry and in accomplishing the aims of the nation, like achieving the government’s housebuilding targets.

“The drylining in housebuilding qualification fitted perfectly into the new suite of construction training qualifications, where we have totally redesigned each trade’s syllabus and provided greater teaching and learning materials.

“NOCN is dedicated to ensuring we provide top quality qualifications for both specialist and the larger trades.”

HBF home building skills partnership manager, Sara Cartin, said: “The new qualification will help to deliver quality workmanship to industry-agreed standards for home buyers.

“It is another key part of our skills framework and, combined with the virtual skills cards we are developing, will ensure that training gaps are addressed.”

FIS CEO, Iain McIlwee, added: “It is vital that we move the conversation about skills onto supporting competence within our workforce.

“As part of this project, we interrogated the current training situation for the housebuilding market and it was clear intervention was needed to support change and help our community meet future skills needs. The key aspect of this is the flexibility that it delivers within a framework.

“We are grateful to CITB and particularly NOCN for their support in targeting and delivering this new qualification. We are confident that it will be a valuable, new asset to support the measurement and management of competence in the sector.”

The Drylining in Housebuilding Report can be downloaded here.

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