Training body dismisses ‘misleading’ report that claims only 25% of apprentices complete their qualification.

Industry training body CITB–ConstructionSkills has hit back at a government report that criticised its training provision, claiming that its success rate for apprentices is almost double that given.

The Building the Future report, published last week by the Adult Learning Inspectorate, said 25% of CITB-backed craft apprentices would complete their qualifications. The CITB says more than 40% will pass courses this year, and has attacked the report for undermining the industry’s commitment to reform.

A CITB spokesperson said: “We simply do not recognise the figures that ALI is quoting for our managing agency achievements in its press release. We are on target to achieve – and most likely surpass – 40% completion rates this year, and are committed to continuing to improve this figure. We have developed agreed plans to meet targets of 50% for 2006 and 60% for 2007.”

The spokesperson added that 63% of the CITB’s managing agency apprentices were on target to complete NVQs. The NVQ is the key qualification recognised by the industry for employment and competence purposes and is key to the drive to fully qualify the workforce by 2010.

The training body attacked the ALI for issuing the report, saying its “misleading” stance threatened to damage employers’ support for CITB-led initiatives.

The spokesperson said: “We are concerned that the promotion of this report will mislead our sector skills agreement partners and undermine the very positive collaborative work that is already under way.”

The CITB said its figures refuted ALI’s allegations that the organisation was not doing enough to improve skill levels in the industry, particularly since it had recently introduced more initiatives to step up training provision.

The spokesperson said: “CITB–ConstructionSkills is not complacent and recognises the general industry problems that the ALI report outlines, in terms of both framework completions and the number of apprenticeships. Both these issues have been specifically addressed in the CITB’s pathfinder sector skills agreement.”