Contractor-led skills academies

The National Skills Academy for Construction (NSAfC) integrates skills development with major construction projects. Skills academies are site-centred and help clients and contractors make sure skills needs are met on time, on demand and where it counts. Becoming approved by the NSAfC will provide the structure and direction to help you deliver consistent, quality training in a complex, live site environment. It also allows you to meet client obligations in a realistic and meaningful way.

The NSAfC will support you in making sure that site learning and development evolves along with your unique skills demand as your project moves through its lifecycle. NSAfC will help you to identify and deliver skills solutions, whether that’s craft, technical, professional or anywhere in between and at any point in your construction supply chain.

Project and programme Approach 

Contractors can apply for skills academy status for a single project or a programme of projects. A single project should last a minimum of two years and reach a value of £50m per project year. 

A programme approach should last a minimum of 3 years and should have a total value of at least £150m. 

Each skills academy employs a Project Skills Coordinator (PSC) to drive your project forwards, build a detailed training plan and act as a central liaison with companies working on site. This makes sure training reaches all areas of site, from new recruits to experienced workers includingthe parts of industry that traditional training models can’t reach. The PSC co-ordinates and monitors the outcomes against key performance indicators (KPIs) set out in the project/programme employment and skills plan (ESP). 

The KPIs cover:

  • work placements (in education)
  • work placements (not in education)
  • jobs created by NSAfC projects (apprentices, graduates, new recruits)
  • construction curriculum information, advice and guidance events
  • waged training weeks 
  • qualifying the workforce
  • training plans
  • case studies

The benefits of skills academies

  • They allow local people to be trained into jobs, helping to create sustainable communities.
  • They provide opportunities for local students to do work experience and industry placements  andsupport local employment aims.
  • They create a sustainable workforce trained and developed in skills that directly meet employers’ needs, creating lasting employment opportunities.
  • They provideadvice on employment and skills benefits, allowing you to benefit from a network of good practice.
  • They are an opportunity for good PR, both regionally and nationally.
  • They improve the skills of your workforce and increase efficiency. 
  • They provide access to a skills co-ordinator who can help with information and administration.

Who can apply?

CITB-registered companies with projects or programmes that meet the minimum value and duration. 

You can apply for skills academy status through a written application process. Status is granted by the NCSAG, a peer review board.

See which projects have successfully obtained skills academy status.