Scheme to fast-track future home builders launched
A new pilot scheme launched by the Construction Industry Training Board (CITB) is set to close the skills gap in the home-building market by by fast tracking qualified construction college leavers into their specialist job area and getting them prepared for the world of work in key regions of the country.
In doing so, it will reduce the risk of them falling away from the sector or unemployment. Participants have now all completed their training and are being matched with employers.
The CITB-funded “boot camp” pilot has been developed by the Home Builders Federation’s (HBF) Home Building Skills Partnership that is working in tandem with five further education providers across the country.
In London, this includes Barking & Dagenham College, supported by the Finishing and Interiors Sector (FIS) and Saint-Gobain, which is matching 7 out of the nationwide total of 33 college leavers taking part in the pilot with potential employers.
The initial pilot scheme is focusing on carpentry and joinery, dry lining and bricklaying, which are among the most challenging job areas to recruit to, with the potential to expand across the country into other job areas.
The boot camp is a 2-6-week on-site training course to test participant competency, enhance their newfound skills, improve speed to support their future employment with home builder firms, and bridge the gap between leaving college and the world of work. The participants are matched with potential home builders and their sub-contractors, with a view to starting on site as paid employees, subject to assessment at the end of the training. They will also receive CITB funding to achieve their NVQ for their CSCS blue skilled card.
Boot camps are taking place in Barking & Dagenham College, West Suffolk College, Burton & South Derby College, Leeds College of Building, and Coleg Gwent in Newport.
Jenny Herdman, Director of the Home Building Skills Partnership, said: “Colleges play a key role in getting people trained in specialist trades, but we know that it’s not always enough to secure them employment. Nationally, the overall retention rate of construction college leavers moving into their specialist trades is a major challenge and we need them in home building.
"As an industry we need to get better at transitioning college leavers from construction courses into employment. This fast track programme aims to get more site ready people entering the home building industry and so help increase industry capacity. Ultimately, we want to see an established pathway for new entrants from full time courses to the home building sector.
"The response from industry has been extremely encouraging, and we look forward to supporting the young home builders of the future every step of the way into their new career. We would urge even more home building companies to get involved and support this pioneering initiative.”