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RCI Feb 2018

LWRA VIEWPOINT Changes to CITB funding: the effect on liquid training Chris Bussens, training coordinator at the Liquid Roofing and Waterproofing Association (LRWA), explains the upcoming changes in CITB funding grants, and how this will affect liquid There has been sweeping changes within the Construction Industry Training Board (CITB), one of which will affect the way funding grants are set up and paid to organisations and employers to support training, which will come into force on April 1 this year. The CITB states it has consulted with the industry in the last 12 months to reform the way it supports construction skills and training, and will introduce new changes within its grants scheme for the Special Applied-Skills Programme (SAP), and the Special Upskilling Programme (SUP), which will have a knock-on effect on training funding for contractors. In this article, I will explain the upcoming reforms to CITB grant funding for SAP and SUP, and how this will directly affect our industry. Special Applied Skills Programme A Special Applied Skills Programme (SAP) is designed for operatives with less than two years’ experience. Operatives of any age can undertake the SAP and on completion, each candidate will achieve an NVQ Level 2 qualification, which 062 FEBRUARY 2018 RCIMAG.COM will enable them to obtain a blue Construction Skills Certification Scheme (CSCS) card. Operatives completing the SAP will gain a good understanding of products and systems in their industry, they will have the opportunity to speak to manufacturers, and undertake hands-on experience in applying various liquid chemistries. SAPs are the way forward for time-strapped contractors, and are seen by the government’s ‘Employer Ownership of Skills and Federation’ as a source of best practice. In the last 12 months, the National Specialist Accreditation Centre (NSAC), a specialist arm of the CITB, has trialled a new proposed SAP in three different sectors, as part of the upcoming changes. This scheme will come into effect from April 1, and is based on an 18-month funding period, covering SAP training days, compared to the existing 24-month period. For liquid-applied waterproofing training and other roofing disciplines, as part of the new reforms, the CITB will still provide an initial payment to support training, but will be paid directly to the relevant federation, such as the LRWA, and not the operatives’ employer. The amount of funding is based on what has been tendered for by the federation. Chris Bussens, training coordinator at the LRWA: “The key to achieving quality standards in our sector is the appropriate training of operatives.” This new change will be a great benefit to employers, as they will not have to pay for the training up-front to the LRWA as before, and then wait to claim it back from the CITB. There are also additional changes to the total amount of funding support to employers, which will be less than the current £7,650. However, the benefits of achieving an NVQ Level 2 outweigh the minor grant differences, and employers should look at the long-term advantages of a fully-skilled operative against the investment of training. The most recent figures put together for the LRWA include a maximum commissioning fee of a £4,000 up-front payment from the CITB per roofing and waterproofing training Continued on page 64


RCI Feb 2018
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