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Transforming the construction skills landscape

The launch of this year’s Business Plan is a significant step forward in our longer-term ambition to transform the skills landscape.

Our overarching goal is clear – we need to eradicate the skills gap and obtain a competent and productive workforce. Doing what we do but doing it better is no longer enough, we need to usher in a new era for construction. Industry was clear on its priorities for us, and our plan responds to these needs.

Partnering for change

The construction skills and training landscape is multi-faceted and made up of different bodies, organisations, and stakeholders, each with ‘skin in the game’. It’s clear that to see a paradigm shift in thinking around construction skills we must all collaborate.

We will work in partnership with employers, from the smallest to the largest, so that the training demands of the construction industry can be met with high-quality, accessible training provision. By expanding our successful Employer Network across Great Britain and working to address the trainer and assessor shortage the industry faces we aim to significantly improve the employers’ and individuals’ training experience.

To further support employers’ training needs over the coming year, we will begin to develop a network of Training Providers that will become the focus for delivery of CITB training support. We expect this network to be fully established by 2026, offering flexible, high-quality training that meets employers’ needs.

Becoming a beacon training provider

The entire CITB team and I share an ambition for the National Construction College to become a beacon provider of construction skills training. This means establishing a benchmark o quality we can then share our resources and support training provision expertise and resources across GB. To achieve this, we will be injecting up to £30m into the NCC estate. This will enhance learners’ and apprentices’ experience. Whilst establishing a training provision that can meet the skills demands of the industry. Creating additional trainer and assessor capability and capacity across the college’s three sites is another focus, to improve the variety and volume of training opportunities for employers and individuals.

Supporting those joining the industry

A pipeline of talent is critical to future growth, and we will invest in attracting and retaining talented individuals. The successful launch of the New Entrant Support Team (NEST) in 2023-24 will be further expanded to contribute to the 15% increase in the number of new entrants joining the industry we have targeted in this plan. This team has already become an important source of support for many employers, particularly the smaller employers who we now know need additional help to navigate through a skills system that is at times unfathomable. The NEST team will help them to navigate recruitment processes, access grants and identify suitable training for new recruits.

Alongside supporting employers who have already found new talent we will continue to fly the flag for construction careers through the Go Construct platform, providing digital careers information and inspiring the next generation to consider construction as the industry with a place for them to thrive. Over the longer term we will intend to make the connection between those who are curious about a career in construction into a job.

Future-proofing construction

Establishing competence across our industry is probably the most effective tool we have in tackling the skills gaps and raising productivity. Those employers who do training properly should be supported and celebrated. We are developing new Competence Frameworks which will be used to develop qualifications that can be flexible enough to support individuals throughout their training to make sure they have and maintain the right knowledge, skills, and behaviours to demonstrate safety and expertise in their chosen occupation throughout their career.

CITB doesn’t have all the answers but between us we do! We know championing and backing innovative ideas of others is important. Our Industry Impact Fund for big picture ideas will provide up to £500,000 of funding to make an idea a reality, based on six critical areas for the future: productivity, equality, diversity and inclusion, net zero, trainers and assessors, digital skills, and retention.

We understand action and results are what industry wants. This Business Plan is stretching for all the right reasons and both I and my team are committed to seeing success. We are determined to create an environment in which the construction industry can flourish – both now and in the future.

You can read more about the Business Plan by visiting: Business Plan (What We Do) - CITB.