UK Funding to help tackle on-site skills shortages

Doka UK 30th October 2019.- Funding in excess of £20 million awarded to 26 projects in the UK to help tackle skills shortage and deliver growing infrastructure needs.

The construction sector in the UK has long been impacted by a prolonged skills shortage, which has subsequently driven an increase in labour costs over the last few years. Fortunately, special public investment plans for the construction sector continue to be approved which are attempting to help tackle this industry issue. On this occasion, we refer to a skills fund backed by the Construction Industry Training Board (CITB) of £20 million which has been awarded to 26 projects in the UK, helping to support the development of construction onsite training hubs. 

A multi-million pound fund to help tackle the construction skills shortage has recently been launched by UK Government Skills Minister Anne Milton. The Construction Skills Fund will bring training to construction sites – allowing learners to apply their knowledge in real-world environments.

This will help meet the needs of employers and help to tackle the construction skills shortage, while also supporting those who want to join the industry; some include adult learners, those wanting a change in career and school-leavers wanting to join the industry.

The 18-month scheme is funded by the Department for Education and will be administered by the Construction Industry Training Board (CITB).

The CITB are now calling on employers, housing associations and other interested bodies such as Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEPs) and local authorities to submit expressions of interest. These can be from both existing and prospective on-site learning hubs.

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

The funding will only support on-site training provision, and access to live construction projects is essential to qualify.

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“.

A career in construction also offers the chance for many people to establish and grow their own businesses.

On-site training will be hugely beneficial for both employers and trainees, as it will help bridge the gap between training and working in the industry, meaning trainees are ‘site-ready’ sooner. 

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 underlines 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.

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.”