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About ConstructionSkills

ConstructionSkills became the Sector Skills Council for the construction industry in September 2003, and has a five-year licence to operate.

It is a partnership between CITB-ConstructionSkills, the Construction Industry Council (CIC) and CITB Northern Ireland (NI) and as such covers the whole industry from craft to the professions, the whole of the UK, and all of the issues that the industry faces.

This is a huge undertaking. Construction is the UK's biggest employer and biggest exporter

  • contributing more than 8% of the UK's GDP
  • employing 2.1 million people (or 1 in 14 of the total UK workforce) and
  • growing steadily with an output of £81 billion (at constant prices).

There are 175,000 construction firms in the UK (95% of which employ fewer than 10 people); 23,500 professional practices; and significant skills gaps. The industry needs 88,000 new recruits every year for the next five years. And in order to achieve its target of a fully qualified workforce by 2010 it needs to qualify 100,000 workers each year to NVQ 2 standard.

CITB-ConstructionSkills helps the industry in England, Scotland and Wales in all aspects of recruiting, training and qualifying the construction workforce. It also works with partners in government and beyond to improve the competitiveness of the industry as a whole.

It collects an annual levy from all liable employers, and gives grant to employers who train.

Its work is driven by a rolling five-year Business Plan focused around the three major challenges facing the industry:

  • Qualifying the workforce - to achieve a fully qualified workforce by 2010
  • Image and recruitment - attracting 88,000 new recruits each year; and
  • Improving business performance - encouraging employers to improve the overall performance and competitiveness of their business

The Construction Industry Council is the umbrella body for all professional services (such as architects and surveyors), research organisations and specialist trade associations. It represents more than 450,000 professionals and over 23,500 firms.

The CIC sees ConstructionSkills, as a way for the whole industry to look at integrated solutions to intractable problems - such as

  • reversing the decline in applications to engineering and construction-related degree courses.
  • providing ways into the professional, technical and specialist sectors for those who are already in the industry.

CITB Northern Ireland, like CITB-ConstructionSkills, is a statutory body with levy raising powers that it will continue to exercise.

ConstructionSkills provides CITB-NI with opportunities to develop a pan-UK approach to new entrant recruitment for both crafts and professions, and to share best practice.

The challenges CITB-NI faces include the

  • development of an infrastructure to support on-site assessment and training (OSAT);
  • continued drive towards a fully registered workforce;
  • review of Modern Apprenticeship training delivery and funding.
Construction Industry Council
CITB Northern Ireland
Skills for Business Network

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