A course for construction apprentices that was set to open this autumn has been cancelled, following delays at accreditation body ConstructionSkills

About 90 apprentices were hoping to embark on a dry-lining diploma, but the training body is now proposing a stop-gap scheme, because it has been unable to prepare the diploma in time for the new academic year. A separate pilot course, designed to train existing workers and apprentices in cold-formed steel frame systems, will also be missing components because of the delays.

Paul Jessop, chief executive of the Federation of Plasterers and Drywall Contractors said: “I was told the dry-lining course would be ready by September, but now it won’t be done until at least next year.”

The existing course will end at Christmas, as the deadline to accredit it as a diploma to receive funding was missed.

Jessop said specific courses were needed, rather than a general diploma, but said ConstructionSkills told him it would take more than a year to accredit a more specific course.

ConstructionSkills said: “There have been significant changes made by the FPDC over the purpose and shape of these qualifications, and hence the delays, but we hope to have the situation resolved in the near future.”