As face-to-face education gradually begins to return across the countries, today I would like to update you on the phased reopening of the National Construction Colleges and more remote learning courses coming soon; the Construction Leadership Council (CLC) launching the first sector-wide skills plan for industry; and an appeal for roofers to register with the RoofCERT accreditation scheme.
National Construction Colleges (NCCs) reopening
This week we’ve been welcoming delegates back to NCC East (Bircham Newton) and NCC South (Erith), in line with Government guidelines. The colleges will reopen gradually to ensure we meet all COVID-19 safety requirements, with apprentices returning from the week beginning 22 March. Customers have been informed that everyone will take a lateral flow test with us before attending courses – the safety of staff and delegates is paramount.
To further support employers we are also continuing remote learning with our apprentices and health and safety courses, with more courses being added in April. Health, Safety and Environment (HS&E) testing at our Pearson Vue centres resumed in England and Wales from 18 January, though centres are not currently open in Scotland.
NCC Scotland (Inchinnan) remains closed for face-to-face learning but we are hoping to be able to open on 5 April. We will continue to monitor the guidelines of the national governments and keep customers updated.
In line with government polices we are continually reviewing our local support, including for apprenticeships and customer engagement – as soon as we are able and it is considered safe, these services will be re-introduced.
Construction Leadership Council (CLC) plan
The CLC has published a new skills plan for 2021-25, developed by industry.
It sets out a series of actions for Government and industry under the four headings of careers; standards and qualifications; training, education and development; culture and working environment.
Under the plan, a new Talent View portal will act as a one-stop-shop for new entrants, an industry standard for work experience will be agreed, and 1,700 STEM Construction Ambassadors will be supported and active in schools in England and Wales.
A set of new construction traineeship programmes, and a pathway from Further Education into construction, will be developed to support and boost routes into the industry.
New competence frameworks will be developed, and new training standards set in several areas including to support the drive towards Net Zero, for Smart Construction, and to develop digital and offsite construction skills.
The CLC plan also supports a drive towards increased direct employment, endorsing Government mandates on direct employment through procurement.
Raising competency through RoofCERT
We’re calling for NVQ-holding roofers to register with RoofCERT, a CITB-supported programme providing third party accreditation for roofing operatives who have demonstrated competency through a knowledge test and undertaken mandatory health and safety awareness training.
It’s run by the National Federation of Roofing Contractors (NFRC) and will create continuing professional development content to help roofers upskill. The scheme works with the Home Builders Federation’s Home Building Skills Partnership to highlight improved quality and performance and attract workers with up to date knowledge and skills, recently beginning a pilot with Redrow Homes and with more planned.
Currently, the focus is on roofers with an NVQ but a route for experienced workers will also soon launch. If you work in the roofing industry and want to register, there are funded places available. For more information, contact RoofCERT.
Best wishes and stay safe everyone,