With varying lockdowns now in England, Scotland and Wales, this is clearly another very difficult time both for construction workers and for their families. Crucially, the good news is that construction is able to continue to operate with restrictions and safeguards in place across all three countries. The Construction Leadership Council (CLC) is also set to produce a minor update to its Site Operating Procedures guidance soon and will continue to ensure this is up to date – go to the CLC website for the latest information.
I’d like to set out below what the lockdowns mean in terms of the CITB services that remain in place for you. We will apply what we have learned in the past year to ensure we provide the right support for employers and apprentices wherever possible. We continually review and update our support and training services. You can take our free COVID-19: Setting up and operating a safe construction site e-course, and also access other free site operating procedures resources via our COVID-19 urgent messages page.
The National Construction Colleges (NCC) in England and Scotland will be closed for face-to-face training until at least 22 February, which removes risk for delegates and colleagues and ensures consistency across the nations. The NCCs will remain open for other services such as remote learning, which makes use of videocall technology like Zoom or Skype to ensure training can continue during lockdown measures. Contact the NCCs to find out what’s available.
Our Health, Safety and Environment (HS&E) testing centres operated by Pearson Vue in England and Scotland remain open, those in Wales have closed based on previous Government guidance, other Independent Test Centres may be open at their discretion, however we are seeking further clarification and will keep our approach under review. We will update our COVID-19 urgent messages page as well as our social media accounts as soon as we can.
We will of course continue to support apprentices in accessing remote and online learning, as we have done throughout the pandemic and following the lockdown closures of their colleges and training providers. We will not be furloughing any CITB customer support staff, to ensure employers and apprentices continue to receive necessary assistance at this time.
CITB grant funding covers remote delivery training, which has adapted during the pandemic to ensure learning continues amid lockdowns. There are now 180 training standards that have been adapted to support remote delivery. Search ‘remote learning’ to find eligible standards here and use the Training Directory to source your required remote training with an ATO. You can also take our free COVID-19: Setting up and operating a safe construction site e-course.
In England, the lockdown will continue until further notice. Construction can proceed, though office-based staff are required to work from home.
The National Construction Colleges (NCCs) at Erith, Kent, and Bircham Newton, Norfolk, will be closed for face-to-face training until at least 22 February. A detailed summary of Government guidance for the lockdown in England is available here.
In Scotland, the lockdown will continue until at least 31 January, when it will be reviewed. Construction is permitted to carry on, but only for essential work in people’s homes.
NCC Scotland at Inchinnan, Renfrewshire, will be closed for face-to-face training until at least 22 February. The latest information on Scottish Government guidance for the lockdown is available here.
In Wales, the lockdown will continue until at least 18 January when it will be reviewed. Construction is also allowed to continue during this period. The latest information on Welsh Government guidance for the lockdown is available here.
Our local team members are continuing to work through the lockdown period and are available to support you. Employers with apprentices should email email@example.com and for all other enquiries firstname.lastname@example.org.
CITB’s COVID-19 Urgent Messages page is refreshed regularly and includes updates on the full range of our work. You can also read the range of support measures made available to UK businesses and employees by the UK Government.
Finally, I hope you all remain safe and well during this difficult start to the year.