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CITB-ConstructionSkills welcomes pilot scheme to give employers and local councils the skills they need to succeed

27 Oct 11 CITB-ConstructionSkills has welcomed the announcement from the Skills Funding Agency that it will trial a new scheme that will reward colleges and training providers if they secure employment for young people and can meet the skills needs of local employers.

The new “outcome incentive payments” trial proposes paying public money to colleges and providers which is clawed back if they fail to deliver the local skills needs of business and communities. Under the proposed new regime colleges could also be paid for other outcomes, such as getting learners into employment or better jobs.

Chief Executive of CITB-ConstructionSkills, Mark Farrar said:

“The true value of training and qualifications has to be judged by outcomes, by what is achieved for individual learners in terms of opportunities and how well they meet local business needs. As the Sector Skills Council and Industry Training Board we are working hard to try and attract new blood into the industry but we are determined to avoid dead ends for anyone coming into the industry. That is why in all of our projects, initiatives and training programmes we work directly with employers, industry stakeholders and local government to carefully assess the skills needs and embed this in the training from the outset.

“We therefore welcome the announcement from the Skills Funding Agency. Vocational training should be ‘demand-led’ – meaning what the industry needs, based on what individual learners as well as business want, rather than what is potentially easier for providers to deliver.

“We eagerly await the findings of the trial – we may be witnessing the beginning of an important shift in the vocational educational provision and delivery, a move to the type of approach that we have supported, championed and have been executing in our own projects for some time.”

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CITB-ConstructionSkills has been working closely with industry on several outcome-focused training initiatives to include the following:

- National Skills Academies for Construction - CITB-ConstructionSkills works with construction companies, clients and skills providers to form Regional Partnerships that identify project-based training opportunities where they can deliver skills outcomes onsite. Academies have worked on 37 significant projects such as the Olympics, Regenerate Pennine Lancashire and Media City UK. This model saw 583 new apprentice starts in 2010.  Managers are trained in the exact skills needed to deliver specific construction projects to standard, on time and to budget.

- Training Groups - Our Training Groups have been working locally across the UK with employers, FE providers and apprentices to develop courses which are now approved as part of the Qualifications Curriculum Framework and most relevant to employer needs, offering skills with more chance of delivering a job and better earning potential in the future. One example of this work comes through the Oxfordshire Construction Training Group, currently in the process of developing ‘Eco Builder’ qualifications in order to ‘upskill’ the existing workforce - including site operatives, trade personnel, site supervisors and managers, through to contracts and project managers and designers - to meet the challenge of the ‘green revolution’ in construction.

- Client-led approach - CITB-ConstructionSkills has been working closely with local councils to look for possible employment and training opportunities for all major developments, based on each project’s size and value. The new partnership aims to secure employment and training opportunities for local residents when planning, procuring or working on public and private sector construction projects.

CITB-ConstructionSkills is also currently working with industry and training providers to undertake a review of its Construction Qualification Strategy which will examine how existing qualifications and training are meeting the skills and competencies needs of the sector.

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