How to do it: the NSAfC toolkit

The National Skills Academy for Construction (NSAfC) toolkit is a free online resource full of information, advice and guidance about the NSAfC way of working.

It’s available to everyone, whether or not your project has NSAfC status, and whether or not you are considering making an application for status. You can use the toolkit to help you through the entire process, or dip in according to your needs.

At the heart of the NSAfC approach is a set of clearly defined key performance indicators (KPIs) that are based on proven ways of working.

If you have NSAfC accreditation, these KPIs will underpin what you are expected to deliver in terms of employment and skills outcomes – but if you don’t, they are still an invaluable framework to use.

Typically, the person driving training and skills development on a project – such as a project skills co-ordinator (PSC), community benefits officer, or client co-ordinator – uses the KPIs and a related employment and skills plan (ESP) as a basis for orchestrating a response to their organisation’s training needs.

One of the project co-ordinator’s most important roles is building relationships across the supply chain, and with local schools, colleges, training providers and job centres.

Getting contractors and subcontractors on side, and forging a network of links with local organisations, is crucial in fulfilling KPIs, through apprenticeships, work placements, career events and upskilling your workforce.

Project co-ordinators may also help achieve outcomes by pointing out potential funding streams to contractors and employers.

In this way, the NSAfC approach affirms the importance of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), which tend to employ a higher percentage of trainees and apprentice than larger competitors but are sometimes overlooked during procurement. Inclusion of SMEs enables a diversity of suppliers that is central to sustainable employment and skills development that will provide lasting social value and benefit to communities and industry.

The NSAfC project leader also reviews progress and shares experiences, raising the profile of the project, writing up case studies and hints and tips to encourage best practice across the industry, and by applying for awards.

You may find the following information useful in helping you run a NSAfC:

Detailed guidance documents are available on request. Contact us if you would like to receive these.

This resource was developed by the NSAfC task group, comprising:

  • Ann Duffy and Susan Fletcher at Bam Nuttall
  • Natalie Peacock of Costain
  • Karen Blacklaw, Martin Bruton and Silka Lyon-Fraser of CITB.

CITB would also like to thank the following contributors:

  • Kevin Bennett, Chair NCSAG
  • Caroline Derrick, Sedgemoor District Council
  • Colleen Eccles, Sanctuary Housing
  • Helen Nurrish, Galliford Try
  • Lindsey McNaughton, Robertson Group
  • Luana Bills, Women into Construction
  • Margaret Milton, Hub South West Scotland
  • Susan Jones, Bouygues
  • Rhian Lawton, The A14
  • Rob Cawley, Alun Griffiths (Contractors) Ltd
  • Vicky Hutchinson, ISG.
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