A multi-million-pound fund to help tackle the construction skills shortage has been launched by the Skills Minister Anne Milton today (18 June).
With 158,000 new construction jobs expected to be created in the UK over the next five years, the £22 million Construction Skills Fund will reportedly bring training to construction sites – allowing learners to apply their knowledge in a real-world environment.
This will reportedly help meet the needs of employers and tackle the construction skills shortage, while also supporting those who want to join the industry, particularly adult learners.
The 18-month scheme is funded by the Department for Education and will be administered by the Construction Industry Training Board (CITB).
Skills Minister, Anne Milton, said: “For our economy to thrive we need everyone, regardless of their age or background, to be able to get the training and the skills they need to make the most of the opportunities that lie ahead.
“The government has committed to building 300,000 new homes a year by the mid-2020s and we want to make sure that we are investing in the UK skills base to deliver this.”
On-site training is said to be hugely beneficial for employers and trainees, as it will help bridge the gap between training and working in the industry, meaning trainees are site-ready sooner.
Minister of State for Housing, Dominic Raab, said: “A construction workforce with new and innovative skills is essential to building a housing market fit for the future.
“We have already invested £1bn to develop modern approaches in the industry and the Construction Skills Fund will teach builders the skills they need to deliver 300,000 new homes a year by the mid-2020s.”
The fund forms a vital part of the government’s modern Industrial Strategy – a long-term plan to build a Britain fit for the future by helping businesses create jobs in every part of the UK.
It is said to underline the government’s commitment to improving education standards for everyone, so they can gain the skills they need to succeed and can secure good jobs.
The fund aims to support:
- 20 on-site training hubs in England
- Work experience and placements for people working to join the industry
- Entry pathways for those currently unemployed
- Pathways for career switchers.
CITB is now calling on employers, housing associations and other interested bodies such as LEPs and local authorities to submit expressions of interest. These can be from both existing and prospective on-site learning hubs.
The funding will only support on-site training provision, and access to live construction projects is essential to qualify.
Steve Radley, policy director at CITB, said: “The Construction Skills Fund is a milestone scheme for the sector and provides a significant investment in skills and training. It will help attract new talent and bridge the gap between training and working in the industry.
“Having training on or near to major projects will reveal what an exciting sector this can be, while also putting new talent in the shop window.
“We want all interested organisations to submit expressions of interest that are innovative, collaborative and with training at their heart. We will support applicants through the process and provide expert guidance to apply to the fund.
“We are pleased to help deliver this major new project and we are confident that, with industry support, it can help meet construction’s skills needs now and in the future.”