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  1,500 new entrants to industry to be attracted with new £2.1m FIS and CITB collaboration

1,500 new entrants to industry to be attracted with new £2.1m FIS and CITB collaboration

2 June 2018 Email this article

A new £2.1m partnership has been agreed between the Finishes and Interiors Sector (FIS) and the Construction Industry Training Board (CITB). The programme has received £1.5 million in funding from CITB and aims to bring in 1,500 new entrants into the sector by 2020.

The Fit-out Futures programme will address key challenges faced in the finishes and interior sector, including skills shortages, lack of new entrants and difficulty in accessing quality training.

The programme will consist of:

·       BuildBack: BuildBack has a target to get 980 unemployed people trained in drylining and into employment by 2020. BuildBack provides an opportunity for unemployed people to be retrained on a SUP (Specialist Upskilling Programme) for drylining at a local college over a two-week period, followed by two weeks of on-site work experience with an employer.

·       Further Education to Employment: This programme will focus on engaging with students to be the next generation of construction employees. The aim is to attract 352 candidates to undertake four weeks of work experience with an employer over a two-year period.

·       Sector Engagement: The third strand focuses on getting a fully carded workforce by 2020 by liaising with industry and students. The target is for 31,000 candidates to have been registered for any CSCS card that is relevant to the fit-out sector.

Discussing the project, Andrew Smith, president at the FIS commented: “Two years ago the FIS Board recognised the crisis in attracting skilled operatives to the fit-out sector and made ‘Skills Development’ one of the three key strategic objectives of the organisation. Our commitment included funding a new team for a limited period to demonstrate to CITB the capability of FIS to deliver the needs of the sector. 

“This investment has paid off and FIS has now received funding to the value of £2.1m over the next three years to enable the delivery of large numbers of skilled tradespeople to our sector. Our Skills Delivery director, Helen Yeulet, ably supported by our CEO David Frise, can rightly be very proud of their achievements to date. 

“FIS looks forward to the delivery of the project and to further expansion of the scope of activity in this area to support our industry.”