The Single Ply Roofing Association (SPRA) has designed a series of training and apprenticeship schemes to ensure all those affected by the recent changes to the Construction Skills Certification Scheme (CSCS) possess the correct skills to work in the sector.
The recent changes to CSCS included the withdrawal of the Construction Site Operative (CSO) card, meaning any skilled staff working onsite will now need a Skilled Worker card. In response, SPRA has developed a number of onsite and offsite training, up skilling and apprenticeship initiatives in an attempt to ensure high quality standards and promote professional development within single ply roofing, all leading to qualification for a CSCS Skilled Worker card.
James Talman, chief executive of SPRA, said:
“We believe training benefits not just the individual, but the employer and the industry as a whole. A workforce with nationally-recognised qualifications will strengthen the company, help plug the skills gap, and improve onsite quality and productivity.”
For trainees starting out in a construction career, the Specialist Apprenticeship Programme (SAP) is a two-year scheme with an NVQ Level 2 Diploma in Single Ply Roofing and a Skilled Worker card at the end. The apprenticeship scheme is delivered in five blocks of five training days across 18 months and a period of onsite assessment. SPRA says this has been designed to limit absence from site for the employer and maximise benefits for the apprentice.
For the many highly-skilled installers with no formal qualifications, the On Site Assessment and Training (OSAT) NVQ Level 2 can be achieved without leaving site through a period of on-going assessment combined with onsite training and evidence gathering.
The newest addition to SPRA’s list of training options is the Specialist Upskilling Programme (SUP), which is designed for experienced installers who may need to fill some gaps in either skills or knowledge in order to meet the NVQ Level 2 requirements. This programme is completely tailored to individual needs and requires between five and 13 days of offsite training, plus onsite assessments.
Gary Walpole, training manager for SPRA, added:
“A company with a robust training matrix for its workforce and labour-only subcontractors will have a definite competitive edge as training requirements form part of many big contract PQQs. More than ever companies are being asked to prove their workforce skills, knowledge and competence, so investment in good quality training really makes sense.”