The Construction Skills Fund supports the development of construction onsite training hubs.
The hubs help train long-term unemployed and people who are looking to make a career change into the construction industry.
In 2018, initial funding in excess of £20 million was awarded to 26 projects in England to support the development of construction onsite training hubs. Despite COVID-19, the scheme has achieved all its targets. More than 13,200 learners have passed the training and emerged employment and site ready.
By 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 the CSF across the wider community.
Over 5,000 learners are new to construction, having previously worked in other sectors and 7,000 are from groups which have traditionally been under-represented in the industry – including women, disabled people and ethnic minorities.
In June 2020, the Department for Education (DfE) announced that the success of the CSF had been recognised and the scheme was extended for another year. An additional £7.5m has now been allocated to the scheme. All training on the new contract must be completed by 31 March 2021, with 6,000 employment and site ready learners and 3,000 sustained jobs evidenced by September 2021.
14 of the former hubs had their funding applications accepted and will continue to link learners to employers in hard-to-reach regions.
Why this fund has been set up
The fund is part of the government's National Retraining Scheme in England. This scheme aims to support innovative ways of training new entrants and retraining adults in areas for which public funding is not available.
The Construction Skills Fund is provided by the Department for Education (DfE) and administered and implemented by CITB.
What is an onsite training hub?
An onsite training hub is a physical facility which enables potential entrants to become site and employment ready. The hub would ideally be located within a large housing development or infrastructure project.
Training hubs are aligned to the construction programme to enable training to be matched to employment opportunities. The model encourages collaborative partnership working with a focus on benefits to local communities.
In working collaboratively with Jobcentre Plus, local community groups, training providers and through the construction supply chain it is possible to design training programmes for those wishing to enter the construction industry which give the best possibility of gaining employment.
Through the fund, it is envisaged onsite training hubs will design programmes focused on those wishing to join the sector from full-time education, those who are currently unemployed, and those wishing to switch careers.