Following the publishing of their Business Plan, The Construction Industry Training Board (CITB) have announced it will be investing over £233 million across Britain to support construction throughout this year and 2023.
The investment responds to the estimated demand for an additional 50,000 workers every year and will focus on securing the next generation of talent for the construction sector – whilst running initiatives to both inspire people outside of the industry to choose construction as their career, and upskill and retain existing talent.
Following the findings of the recent ‘Rethinking Recruitment’ report – which highlighted the industry’s workforce shortage and a government drive to stop the industry relying on overseas labour – CITB’s plan will invest in building bridges between further education and work in order to get more learners into construction.
SkillBuild, a multi-trade skills competition in the UK for trainees and apprenticeships, is one of the initiatives that will be used to help fill this gap – as well as taster events and the STEM Ambassador network to inspire young people.
With a total of £60.3m available in direct grants for employers who take on apprentices, CITB will create more accessible routes into construction, focusing on on-site experiences and the future rollout of occupational traineeships to create a skilled workforce.
‘Developing the capacity and capability of construction training provision’ is another challenge that was identified by CITB, alluding that as the industry recovers from the pandemic and the demand for projects increases, it’s become more difficult to get the right training at the right time.
As a result, core training skills delivery and niche skills training will receive an investment of £25.9m through the board’s National Construction Colleges – whilst also supporting more than 300,000 health Safety & Environment tests to bring assurance to employers that their workforce is safe.
Finally, the last section of investment will focus on the industry’s changing landscape. Issues such as net-zero, digitization, and modern methods of construction are becoming more prominent – especially as it aims to achieve its climate targets – so a £2.1m investment will help better understand the changing environment and create better standards for the future.
CITB Chief Executive, Tim Balcon, commented: “While progress has been made, the construction industry has faced significant challenges in recent years, including inflation, rising fuel prices, the pandemic and Brexit, to name a few.
“In many ways the industry is still experiencing and feeling the impact of these events, which we know has shifted priorities greatly and pushed the demand for skills to the forefront. It’s essential now more than ever that efforts are focused on helping to alleviate those pressures and address the key needs of industry.”
Originally published in Design & Build UK