Construction Industry Training Board (CITB)

chief executive Tim Balcon talking to builders – Credit: Peter Devlin

Norfolk is hosting a pilot which could revolutionise the way the construction sector is able to train recruits.

The county is one of five areas chosen across the UK to be part of the Construction Industry Training Board (CITB) scheme.

More than 3,800 levy-registered building business are eligible to take part in the new employer network project. It is open to businesses of all sizes and the aim is to simplify the process , says the CITB – the sector’s skills body.

Employers receive guidance on how to find and fund the training most appropriate to them. It’s “a huge opportunity” for them to set out their training requirements – and decide how funds are used in their local area, it adds.

They don’t have to access the grant scheme as the employer network will help organise and fund training directly. Requirements around training will also be relaxed “to ensure the pilots can be as reflective of the employer’s needs as possible”, it says. Any training that helps the business work better whether it’s a construction skill or a business skill will qualify.

CITB chief executive Tim Balcon said: “I’m really excited about this pilot – this is about putting employers in the driving seat to identify and address their local skills challenges and how best CITB can align our funding and resources to support their skills needs. I would encourage employers in the pilot areas to get involved and use their voice to shape and engage with the local training provision.

The other four pilot areas are Inverness, Lincoln, South West Wales and the Midlands.

Norfolk Construction Training Group will provide the training in the county. Chairman John Farley said: “As an extremely active training group, we are delighted to be a part of the pilot for the new Employer Network Pilot, aimed at encouraging the wider construction community to engage in training.

“We identify that training is essential for the industry to grow and thrive – this programme is an exciting opportunity to make that happen.

“We feel once implemented it will have a serious impact with employers and improve much needed skill levels within the local area.”

Source: Eastern Daily Express

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