CITB has unveiled its biggest-ever funding opportunity; a £5 million programme to encourage under-represented groups into the construction industry.
With ‘Pathways into Construction‘, the Construction Industry Training Board (CITB) hopes to open up lines of communication between the industry and those who wouldn’t ordinarily enter construction. In particular, the unemployed, women of all ages and full-time learners studying construction but struggling to find a place in industry.
CITB will now welcome funding applications from employers dedicated to bringing one of more of the five following groups into the construction industry:
- Young people ‘Not in Education, Employment, or Training’ (NEET);
- The long-term unemployed;
- Ex-service personnel who left the military more than 12 months ago;
- Any and all women hoping to join the industry; and
- Full-time learners, CBE Diploma students in particular.
The £5 million fund is something of an intervention for the industry. It follows lengthy research into the prevailing skills gap construction is currently facing. That research explored routes into construction, work readiness, recruiting NEETs, and “pre-employment interventions” – work experience, for example, and opportunities to gain soft skills.
“CITB’s new commission, ‘Pathways into Construction’ opens up a huge opportunity for the industry,” said Stephen Cole, Head of Careers Strategy at CITB. “With Brexit on the horizon, the fund will widen employers’ pool of domestic talent, diversify the industry and increase opportunities for those on the margins of construction, improving social mobility. By working with organisations that specialise in reaching these groups, the fund will facilitate the creation of sustainable partnerships and help the industry reach new talent that’s previously been untapped.”
According to Mark Reynolds, CEO of Mace Group and Skills Lead for the Construction Leadership Council: “To ensure that we can keep building sustainably, it is vital that the construction sector has access to a broad and diverse range of talent. This new funding will have a huge impact, targeting people who traditionally don’t enter our industry. It will help to ensure that everyone can access high quality construction training and employers can find the right new people to deliver their projects and programmes.”
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