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Fri April 03 2020

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Offsite training programme to launch in April

3 Mar A training programme for offsite construction is being launched in Scotland next month, with delivery in England and Wales following.

TV personality George Clarke is one of the people behind the Offsite Ready programme
TV personality George Clarke is one of the people behind the Offsite Ready programme

Construction Scotland Innovation Centre (CSIC), together with a UK-wide network of project partners, is launching the programme to help develop best practice and skills. The project is being led by CSIC and delivered in partnership with Ministry of Building and Education (Mobie), Construction Wales Innovation Centre (CWIC), Edinburgh Napier University, City of Glasgow College (COGC) and Class of Your Own (COYO).

The Offsite Ready project, which involves a series of events and online modules, will be launched at CSIC on 23rd April.  Following that there will be a number of events delivered by Mobie – which was founded by Channel 4 presenter George Clarke – across England and by CWIC in Wales.

The project, which is funded by the Construction Industry Training Board (CITB), will offer a range of free-to-access online learning resources and face-to-face training events. The aim is to build capacity in the UK education and skills system and ensure colleges, universities and training providers are well placed to respond to the growth in offsite construction in the UK.

The idea is that Offsite Ready will engage directly with employers, training providers, contractors, educational bodies and leading innovation organisations across the construction industry. 

There will be a suite of online training modules to ensure the material is accessible ‘anytime, anywhere’ and will be available to book and download from the Offsite Ready project website from April 2020.

Topics covered in the programme include: design functions, procurement functions, cost management, project and site management, on-site logistics and assembly, and follow-on and upstream trades

Clarke said: “The Offsite Ready programme is a really exciting way to really move forward with offsite construction which is so important not only to the construction industry but to the future of the built environment, the way we build our places and spaces.

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“It’s amazing how much more efficient and better for the environment building offsite can be, yet in the UK less than 5% of construction uses offsite techniques, compared to around 9% in Germany, 12-15% in Japan and 20% in Sweden. Offsite building can bring the cost of construction down, can offer 30% quicker build time, and is one of the ways the industry can get to net zero carbon emission.

So it’s a crucially important area where we really need to be making change and that’s what this forward-thinking project is all about.”

Stephen Good, chief executive of CSIC, added: “The construction industry is facing a period of significant change. At CSIC, we want everyone involved in the construction industry to look to the future and do things better – and that includes tackling our housing shortage through modern, more efficient building techniques, like offsite construction.  Key to this is improving the quality and consistency of training in offsite construction.

“The Offsite Ready project was developed in response to research which has shown that offsite construction can increase productivity and reduce costs and timescales compared with traditional methods, with nearly half of construction industry employers expecting to use offsite techniques within the next five years.”

Ian Hughes, Strategic Partnerships Director, CITB Scotland, said: “This is a crucial time for the growth of offsite construction in Scotland. The post-Brexit effects of tighter immigration rules mean that government, industry and training providers must work together to lessen its impact on the loss of skills in Scotland. This includes growing investment in the domestic workforce to drive productivity, attract talent and improve home-grown skill levels.

“The Offsite Ready training modules are a fantastic example of much-needed training in Modern Methods of Construction in Scotland to help our industry thrive into the future.”

Offsite Ready training modules will be available from April 2020 through an online training portal and the training events will take place in England, Scotland and Wales from April to July 2020.       

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