Construction industry bucks trend by investing in training

An
training fund of more than £86m is being made available to the construction
industry to help it combat skilled staff shortages.

The
UK’s construction industry needs to attract 380,000 new recruits over the next
five years to meet employment demands.

To
combat the shortfall, the Construction Industry Training Board (CITB) has
earmarked £86.5m as training grants for construction companies in 2003-04.

This
is an extra £11.5m on top of last year’s funding, representing a 15 per cent
increase.

The
CITB has also announced a shake up of the grants system to enable employers to
claim grants more easily and quickly.

CITB
has removed the pre-approval process for short duration courses, meaning that
waiting times for grants payment will be cut from several months to 30 days.

CITB
chairman, Sir Michael Latham, said: "We want to get the message out to the
industry that this money is available to help the entire industry up-skill for
the future.

"We
have responded to employer feedback by simplifying processes and reducing
waiting times. There has never been a better time to train and claim," he
said.

By Michael Millar

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