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ConstructionSkills says Adult Learning Inspectorate report is ‘good news’

ConstructionSkills, formally CITB-ConstructionSkills, welcomed the results of the Adult Learning Inspectorate’s (ALI) review of its training and learning programmes published last week (1st December 2006).

The Inspectorate found that overall services and courses are good, highlighting construction training and learning provision, and management and leadership for particular praise.

Max Hamps, Director of Managing Agency, ConstructionSkills’ apprenticeship division said:

“I am extremely pleased that all the hard work staff have put into improving the services we provide is paying off. The Inspectorate’s report provides independent confirmation that we are moving in the right direction. We are part way through a root and branch review of our apprenticeship provision, and as we aim to continually improve our services, the ALI’s findings are helpful in confirming areas for improvement.”

ConstructionSkills’ Managing Agency is committed to providing employers with top quality apprentices. All applicants sit an aptitude test to ensure they are of a high standard. And after restructuring key parts of the NVQ framework, completions have improved – it stood at only 31% in 2004 but was 55% in 2005, and has reached close to 70% this year. In addition the report revealed other improvements in the relationship between the apprentice, the apprenticeship officer and the college indicating ConstructionSkills is well on track to providing employers with the high calibre apprentices needed to help meet future workload and growing industry demands.

However, in 2005, of the 12,150 learners in England that passed the organisation’s aptitude test, only 5,233 undertook an apprenticeship place. ConstructionSkills continues to encourage employers to take on an apprentice, and as the Managing Agency and the National Construction College ALI results prove, today’s recruits have much to offer.

The ALI report also spelled good news for the National Construction College (NCC), the largest provider of specialist construction training in Europe. David Boyden, Director of NCC stated: “We aim to provide the highest quality construction training and learning programmes in the UK. The review will help to make our offering even better by highlighting the things we do well and identifying where we can improve. We have identified and implemented actions to make these improvements and are already starting to see the results.

“It isn’t only the Adult Learning Inspectorate that thinks we are improving. The surveys we do with learners and employers consistently give top marks to our training and learning programmes with 98% of customers rating our services as ‘good or excellent’.”

Similarly, ConstructionSkills’ National Specialist Accredited Centre (NSAC) has been given a boost from the findings of the report. Mike Bialyj, Field Director, ConstructionSkills stated: “We’re extremely pleased with the overall progress we’ve made. The ALI report offers a comprehensive, independent and objective review of our training, so it is important the industry can see for themselves what we do well, and if there are challenges how we are addressing them.”

ConstructionSkills places approximately 9,500 apprentices in the UK per year through its Apprenticeship Division – all of whom have been pre-screened to establish that they are of high enough quality to add value to the industry. To help the employer and the apprentice through the apprenticeship, ConstructionSkills offers ongoing mentoring and support from an Apprenticeship Officer as well as CITB Grants of up to £8,400 over three years, to support training.

For more information, please visit www.citb-constructionskills.co.uk/apprenticeships or contact your local CITB-ConstructionSkills office.

The National Construction College provides specialist construction training for plant operations and mechanics, groundworks, crane operations, lightning conductor engineering, scaffolding and steeplejacking, general construction, civil engineering, roofing, ceiling fixing, partitioning, surveying and setting out and floor covering.

To find out more about the college and the courses and training on offer please call 0870 4166222 or visit www.nationalconstructioncollege.co.uk

Read the full press release for further details

A full copy of the report can be found on the ALI website www.ali.gov.uk

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