Three Scottish projects benefit from CITB funding

construction_vacancies_stock_310Three construction work experience and pre-employment programmes in Scotland have been successful in receiving financial assistance from the latest round of CITB funding.

Eleven other projects, based in England and Scotland, shared over £800,000 from CITB in this latest round of Flexible and Structured funding. Five of the bids were submitted by Federations and the rest by firms, training groups or trade associations.

Scottish Building Federation was awarded £120,840 for its Construction Collaborative Leadership Framework (CCLF) project which aims to build a leadership framework for the construction industry to develop joint solutions to solve issues the industry faces.

Scottish Building Federation managing director, Vaughan Hart, told Scottish Construction Now: “We are delighted to have secured funding from CITB to develop a Construction Collaborative Leadership Framework. While construction continues to be a very dynamic industry where materials and techniques are constantly being improved and advanced, our research shows that leadership capability within the industry is not necessarily keeping pace with those technical advances.

“To that end, SBF aims to use CITB funding to develop a Construction Collaborative Leadership Framework to tackle complex barriers to good leadership at company, consortium, sector and societal levels. Our objective is to enable sustainable transformation in leadership practice across the entire construction industry.”

Kier, in conjunction with hub South West Scotland and youth charity Prince’s Trust, received £43,500 to develop a work experience programme, designed to encourage 15-18 year olds into construction.

The project will deliver a series of ‘taster days’, offer progression onto pre-employment programmes where students can gain CSCS accreditation and on-site experience. Ongoing support and mentoring from Prince’s Trust will help young people progress into employment, further education or training within the industry.

Meanwhile GMG Contractors was given £49,153 to develop a bespoke skills academy at The Manse in Glasgow to train apprentices offsite when the weather is inclement.

Geeta Nathan, head of economic analysis at CITB, said: “I’m excited to announce the latest round of industry-led projects that CITB is supporting. The construction industry faces unique challenges and it’s important that we work together to address these issues so that we are well-positioned for the future.”

Also receiving funding was a new initiative designed to stamp out modern day slavery in the construction industry.

Developed by Willmott Dixon, the project was successful in its bid for £18,500.

Funding will be used to help construction firms and the supply chain to identify illegal workers and trafficking activities through a serious of ‘Right to Work’ training videos.

According to the Home Office, 53 potential victims of trafficking into construction were referred to the authorities in 2013, but slavery’s hidden nature means actual numbers are likely to be much higher. Businesses already have an obligation to make training about slavery and human trafficking available to staff under the Modern Slavery Act 2015 and penalties for non-compliance are severe.

Geeta Nathan added: “The threat of human trafficking in construction is real. Firms want to root it out, but don’t always know how. This project will help companies to protect staff, abide by the law and uphold the reputation of the industry. We commend the efforts of Willmott Dixon for initiating this project and are pleased to support them with industry investment.”

Rick Lee, chief human resources manager at Willmott Dixon, added: “At Willmott Dixon we believe strongly that our industry should lead the way in ensuring and safeguarding the rights and treatment of our workforce, which includes compliance with all legislation regarding employees’ right to work.

“In order to share our knowledge in this area and help our industry set the standard, we are pleased to have partnered with the CITB to produce training videos which act as practical guides and highlight best practice. Our hope is that these videos will raise awareness and provide valuable guidance to the wider construction industry on this important subject.”

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