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Success of Construction Skills Fund recognised as scheme extended another year

The success of the Construction Skills Fund (CSF) in delivering site-ready learners for the industry has been rewarded with a 12-month extension by the Department for Education (DfE).

The fund is run by CITB and forms a key part of its newly launched Skills Stability Plan to help the industry recover from the effects of Covid-19.

More than 13,200 learners to date have passed through 23 DfE-funded learning hubs and emerged employment and site ready. Now, it is investing an additional £7.5m, with 14 hubs successful in their bids to CITB.

With the construction industry hit hard by the Covid-19 crisis, it’s more important than ever that the sector is ready to attract new talent. The government has eased the rules to take account of Covid-19, in particular the stipulation on when evidence of sustained employment by CSF learners will be required.

All training on the new contract must be completed by 31 March 2021 with 6,000 employment and site ready and 3,000 sustained jobs evidenced by Sept 2021.

To the end of May 2020, 3,327 learners had been placed into jobs, including 805 apprentices. 90% of learners were unemployed when they joined the hubs, demonstrating the positive impact being made by CSF across the whole community.

Over 5,000 learners are new to construction having previously worked in other sectors and 7,000 from groups which have traditionally been under-represented in the industry – including women, the disabled, and black, Asian and minority ethnic people.

CITB Director of Policy and Strategy Steve Radley said:

“CSF has now almost reached its target of 13,500 employment and site-ready people, despite the impact of Covid-19. This is a fantastic achievement, and it’s great news that government wants to build on it. The learners who passed though the hubs now have skills construction needs and the hubs will work hard to place them.

“With unemployment rising and many other entry level job routes currently closed, we have a real opportunity to bring in people who might not have considered construction so CSF is a great opportunity to get them started in the industry.

With government today announcing a big infrastructure boost, CSF can inject the fuel to power Project Speed, by helping to introduce new workers to the industry ensuring businesses have the talent they need to get Britain building again.”