More than 1,300 candidates have embarked on life-changing journeys towards a career in construction as part of the nationwide Construction Skills Fund (CSF) project. CSF launched in October 2018 and provides onsite experience at 21 training hubs across England.
Each candidate will complete the necessary training at their hub to become site-ready and join the construction industry as employees. Many of those joining the scheme were previously unemployed or come from underrepresented groups and are helping to close the skills shortage in the industry.
One of these candidates is Simone Hitchen, a 32 year old single mother from Wellington in Shropshire. Simone is a tenant of the Wrekin Housing Trust where she recently completed a training programme with the Marches Construction Ready Programme. Simone has been given the opportunity to gain experience with several trades within the construction industry and has recently received an offer of full time employment in the sector. She described her time at the hub as “a great experience”, gaining confidence and practical skills. Supported employment and training charity Landau Ltd has coordinated the Wrekin Housing Trust hub which has so far enrolled 80 candidates.
Launched in October 2018 and delivered by the Construction Industry Training Board (CITB), the £22m CSF is funded by the Department for Education (DfE) with the aim of training more than 13,000 people to be ready for employment in construction by March 2020.
Steve Radley, Policy Director of the Construction Industry Training Board, said: “It’s fantastic that 1,300 candidates have now enrolled at 21 CSF hubs across the country. We hope their hard work will help them to get a job in construction.
“158,000 skilled construction workers are required by 2022, and the CSF hubs offer many learners routes into the construction industry that they may otherwise not have had access to or known about. The high number of candidates already enrolled shows the importance of schemes like the CSF in enabling partnerships between sites, employers and potential employees. We hope to see this encouraging trend continue and even more people joining our industry.”
The £22m Construction Skills Fund was created as part of the Government’s National Retraining Scheme to support innovative ways of training new entrants and retaining workers in the construction sector. 21 on-site hubs across England are providing life-changing opportunities to work in construction, with particular focus on the long-term unemployed, career changers and unrepresented groups.