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CSCS announces new apprenticeship funding agreement with CCATF

Published: April 28, 2017

The Cross-industry Construction Apprenticeship Taskforce (CCATF) has reached agreement with the Construction Skills Certification Scheme (CSCS) for a funding package in support of the CCATF’ ‘Pathway to Construction’ Scheme.

The Pathway to Construction (PtC) approach supports the development of skills within the construction industry by means of financially supported on the job training for young apprentices seeking a work trial or work experience.

At present FE Colleges and other training providers around the country are offering construction and ‘built environment’ courses work with, in total, between 35,000 and 50,000 full time learners who are most often on 2-year full time courses.

The clearest, and most significant challenge for the sector, is that without an employer engaging with these young people, who have all committed to a career in construction, they will never achieve a full framework qualification and NVQ without site experience via an apprenticeship programme.

The PtC scheme, created by the CCATF, delivers a small amount of funding, at a rate of up to £1,000 per student, to help local employers with the costs of giving that student up to 10 weeks’ work experience on site towards the end of the first year of the 2-year course.

Based on the experience of the CCATF, many employers who take on an apprentice do not feel able to initially commit to a two or three-year apprenticeship but are more willing to consider a ‘try before you buy’ type offer.

By working within the PtC process employers can be encouraged to take a student into employment as an apprentice for the second year of their course ensuring that a full framework qualification can be achieved. This, clearly, creates the desirable outcome for both employer and student with the latter benefitting from ongoing employment in the industry and development as a skilled worker.

In confirming the agreement reached between the two organisations CSCS Chief Executive, Graham Wren, commented “the agreement we have reached with CCATF to fund work experience for 35 students, simply and effectively underpins our view of the construction sector and its need for more skilled employees. With CSCS cards providing proof that individuals working on construction sites have the required training and qualifications for the type of work they carry out, the synergy was clear.

Wren continued, “CSCS’s strategic direction is focused on the achievement of industry recognised qualifications and a fully qualified workforce. The excellent work of the CCATF and the PtC scheme was something we as an organisation can relate to. We have developed a strong working partnership with the CCATF and we look forward to helping 35 students gain the valuable work experience they require in order to complete their NVQ.”

Speaking of the agreement CCATF Chairman, Martyn Price commented “this agreement with CSCS marks a significant development in highlighting the need for an uplift in skills within the sector.  It also creates an opportunity for the further development of the PtC initiative that support young talent being able to gain valuable experience with employers.

‘We look forward to working with Graham and his team at CSCS and making the PtC a robust and meaningful way of supporting skills development in the sector’.