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Sector Skills Agreement > Our challenges > Qualifying the Workforce > Achieving employa...
Qualifying the workforce
To ensure that we have a fully qualified workforce by 2010, we'll need to provide training courses for specialist trades, safely integrate migrant workers, and licence the 500,000 skilled workers who lack formal qualifications.
The issue The idea The progress The commitment The results


Typically, the major contractors and house builders managing large construction projects do not directly employ craftsmen, women or specialist trades. These skills are provided by thousands of small sub-contractors – usually on short-term contracts. As a result over 80% of the workforce is self-employed or in small firms.

The majority of site workers enter the industry through informal routes, learn on the job and have no formal qualifications. Advertised job vacancies still account for only 3% of employment – equivalent to only 2% of the workforce. As a result we estimate that around 500,000 workers currently have no qualification at Vocational Qualification Level 2 or equivalent.

One way of training and qualifying these experienced workers is through CITB-ConstructionSkills’ On-Site Assessment and Training (OSAT) programme. OSAT is a fast-track route to a Vocational Qualification. By visiting workers on-site, OSAT assessors can find out what skills they already have and then develop an action plan to fill any gaps – without workers having to leave their place of work.

For OSAT to reach more workers it must be supported by the industry’s clients and have access to sufficient quantity and quality of site-based trainers and assessors. Funding is also needed to enable OSAT to be implemented throughout the whole of

Construction Industry Council
CITB Northern Ireland

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