Major contractors to provide work placements for college students in skills boost for industry

Construction training body CITB-Construction Skills is piloting an apprenticeship scheme that aims to give students more on-site work experience opportunities.

The Programme Led Apprenticeship scheme will see employers, particularly those in the Major Contractors Group and their supply chains, work in partnership with training providers to provide work placements for students in their second year at college. The scheme aims to address the current shortage of work experience placements, which prevents many trainees from completing their NVQ qualifications.

Peter Lobban, chief executive of CITB-ConstructionSkills, said: “The industry as a whole needs to recruit 88,000 people every year for the next five years, yet at the moment we know many potential entrants are slipping through the net due to lack of work experience opportunities.”

He added: “By increasing the opportunity for young people to practice their skills on site, we will not only address the drop out rate generated by trainees being unable to complete their NVQ, but also ensure that the future of the industry is in safe hands.”

CITB-Construction skills has agreed funding for the scheme with education body the Learning Skills Council. The organisation will now identify pilot sites so that students currently on courses will be able to start on site next year. Housebuilder George Wimpey and contractor Shephard Construction are amongst the firms that have expressed an interest in the scheme.