Training body plans ‘integration package’ to give foreign workers language and health and safety skills

The government is considering plans to fund an induction programme for immigrant workers joining the UK construction industry.

Under the programme, developed by the Construction Industry Training Board, workers would be offered an “integration package” when they arrive in the UK. This would include training in construction and language skills, and health and safety. The workers would also be given help to find accommodation close to their work.

Frazer Clements, the CITB’s director of business services, said the Home Office was assessing the package and considering whether to provide funding.

He said: “We are looking for the Home Office to endorse the integration package. We hope that it can become an exemplar for the industry.”

He said that the Major Contractors Group and the National Contractors Federation had worked with the CITB on the initiative.

Clements added that the package would draw on existing good practice, such as the CSCS card scheme, to support immigrant workers in the industry.

He said: “Immigrant workers need CSCS to work in the UK construction industry and this induction process would help to identify what training they would need to obtain this.”

He added that it was likely the CITB would know whether the integration package would receive government support before the early autumn.

It is understood that the CITB will ask members of the MCG to ensure the package is implemented through the supply chain.

A Whitehall source told Building that the government was keen to demonstrate to the industry and the public that it was dealing with the issue of immigrant worker exploitation.

The source said the Home Office would consider the proposal alongside other initiatives being developed to help and support foreign workers.

The source said: “It is clear that health and safety training for immigrant workers is crucial for the construction industry as it has such an appalling record.

“Any move to help this situation can only be a good one.”